Monday, December 31, 2007
Plus it is amateur night when every normal person goes out to get all likkered up and make a fool of themselves. Strictly amateurs.
Yesterday I was all doom and gloom over the change. I'll never get a job. Nothing will ever change. Of course, it deosn't help waking up to my feet hurting like hell before I ever stand up. That puts the gloom into the day quickly. But today, ah, different day and things can change. My feet still hurt but I am well on my way to getting in to the senior center gym in Santa Clara, going back to hockey, swimming again, a new job right around the corner and a real pay check soon. I ordered all kinds of seed catalogs the other night, will be putting compost into the veggie garden and plucking more ripe lemons from the back yard tree. I may have to dig that hole for the new rose bush too.
I am going to do my best this year to not get down for every little thing, be hopeful about the future and share the joy.
Wow, for someone who doesn't make New year's resolutions that sure sounded like some!
Happy New Year to everyone who stops by here. May all our dreams come true in '08, starting with a Democrat in the White House.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Christmas has zipped by me again but it was a nice time with lots of parties and time well spent with the family. Leading up to Christmas I wrestled with that deadly viral infection so I wasn't too cheerful but definitely gay. Now I sit and stare at the phone, waiting for the group who interviewed me to call with a job offer. Apparently that doesn't happen during this week.
It was horrible to fire up the computer yesterday and see the headlines about Benazir Bhutto's assassination in Pakistan yesterday. I have followed the stories out there for a while, noting the upcoming elections coupled with Bush's idiotic policies playing out in full view of the world so we can see a thug with his hand on the trigger of nukes. Apparently Cheney and Musharraf are BFF so far be it for us to demand some accountability for all the billions going into that country. But the NYT nailed it today with this quote:
The assassination highlighted, in spectacular fashion, the failure of two of President Bush’s main objectives in the region: his quest to bring democracy to the Muslim world, and his drive to force out the Islamist militants who have hung on tenaciously in Pakistan, the nuclear-armed state considered ground zero in President Bush’s fight against terrorism, despite the administration’s long-running effort to root out Al Qaeda from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Ah yes, spectacular fashion.
This changed the terrain in Iowa too. All of sudden the agents for change don't look so good. Huckster didn't know his geography. Obama can't make the case for change when experience is indeed important so he tries to thrash Hillary. McCain looks like he knows what he is talking about compared to a former governor and mayor.
We'll see what the new year brings in elections whether it be in Pakistan or Iowa.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Imagine what a miracle it is to tell the truth and share that with family about being lesbian, about the shame I have carried all my life about who I am, who I love and to get love back to replace the self-hate. To be trusted with their children and given the chance to share me, just me, as the child of God who is kind and generous and funny with all of them. I get yelled at all the time because I make them presents or get the kids something because there is that little problem of unemployment.
Last week when I had one of the kids we were walking down the street together and he looked at me with the most earnest face and said, "Some girls like girls and some boys like boys and that's just the way it is." What a season of miracles, there is hope for all of us.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I had to cancel my trip to New Orleans on Tuesday because I just could not deal with the pain in my feet. The thought of standing in line to get through security made me cry just thinking how much it would hurt. And I know NOLA, you have to walk a lot and since I cannot walk around the block without pain, the idea of wandering through the Quarter, well, it was just too much.
So I am at home, on a rainy day, making calenders on my Mac, filling in the excel spread sheet of presents both made and purchased, I am going to finish the village today, putting up the pond area now. The tree comes this weekend and I am going to the Sharks game on Saturday. Whoohoo.
Plus, plus, plus, I had a really good job interview yesterday. This could easily be my dream job. It will be even better if I can start before Christmas. Hopefully I will hear very very soon and I can be back on my way to getting up at a reasonable time in the morning, getting a bigger check than unemployment and actually paying off my bills every month. How adult of me.
But now I must go watch Shrek 3.
Friday, November 30, 2007
My wife just sent me this picture of me and Ruby, my tailless cat. I love Ruby with all my heart and she has had a very hard hard life. I found her after she rolled under a van on one of the busiest streets in Santa Fe.
Since then she has broken her leg badly and lost her tail to some neighborhood dogs. But she is still as lovable as ever, she cuddles with me, sits on my chest and purrs and tells me every chance she gets that she is hungry. She greets both of every day in the driveway and shows off how she can roll in the lawn.
So Jo took this picture of Ruby and I cuddling the other night. What I saw was a woman with an extra chin, arms that were flabby and every other little thing I could pick out that was wrong with me, in my eyes. I sent an email back to Jo saying all this and she responded by saying "That's what you see."
What a mind blowing experience. I realized how much I had invested of my life and soul telling myself I wasn't cute, or attractive or worthy of love. I have been crying ever since. What a WASTE!
I had given in to the homophobes who have said all those things, I listened and I believed them. I made their lies real in my head and they had won. I was sobbing thinking about all the people and creatures who loved me unconditionally. How much time have I put into thinking how unattractive I am? A lifetime.
Time for a new outlook on life. One filled with joy and laughter, pain and sorrow but never again about how I look and whether that is good enough. Because I am one unique woman.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I can't seem to figure out how to blog much lately. But I did manage to get myself quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle today. Plus I am showing off my picture with Sharks rookie Devin Setoguchi. I know, he's cute, huh? What a nice guy, too. It was nice to see so many Asian folks out there to get his autograph. He signed my new jersey.
I guess I have been a little brain dead post Cupertino elections. I worked on my friend, Gilbert Wong's campaign. I am happy to report that we won and he will be sworn in this coming Tuesday. Then me and the esposa are running off to New Orleans. Finally I will get to see my friend Chris.
Last time I saw him was when he was running for the state house in an attempt to become the first openly gay elected person in Louisiana. The election was soooo close, he missed the runoff by 56 votes. Damnit, so close. BTW, if you get a chance, go look at his art work. He is selling these really cool ceiling tiles on Craig'sList in New Orleans. It is under arts+crafts.
Now about that job, I am hoping for something very soon. But then I have been hoping for 4 months now. Please, universe, how about a meaningful job with enough money before Christmas.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Boy did I come away with some hope! I saw first hand how gay marriage will become a reality in the future. There was not one person who ran away from the table when they found out we were homos. Everyone knew about the LGBT resource center on their campuses. All of them had LGBT friends. All of them took queer stickers.
And in my lifetime I believe they will nonchalantly change the laws to give us equality. That will be a day to remember.
So having been in many meetings where I was the only woman,including one very memorable one with Governor Richardson, I can tell you this ganging up thing is part of every day professional life. My other professional women colleagues who I have discussed this with are in agreement, you guys have no idea what this looks like to us and that we have all experienced it in the course of our careers.
So stop the weeping and wailing, it doesn't play well. We have been through and hate it. Snap out of it!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Governor Richardson Urges Congress to Pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act
For Immediate Release
November 7, 2007
Contact: Tom Reynolds
WASHINGTON, DC-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson today released the following statement urging Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):
"This should be a no-brainer for Congress: ENDA is an essential piece of civil rights legislation that has taken too long-- thirteen years-- to get to this point. It is hard to believe that we even have to debate prohibiting discrimination of any kind.
"I applaud Congressman Barney Frank for his tireless efforts in advancing the cause of equality and justice. However, let us be clear-- the struggle for equality is not over. I am disappointed, as I know Congressman Frank is, that gender identity is not protected in today's bill. That must be fixed.
"In my first year as Governor of New Mexico, I expanded anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation. I also signed into law New Mexico's first hate crimes legislation, which included acts based on sexual orientation, and I issued an executive order extending state health insurance benefits to all domestic partnerships. As President of the United States, I will fight for those same protections and rights for every American.
"ENDA is a pivotal step toward equal treatment under the law for every American. Along with my friends in the LGBT community, I look forward to the day when this no longer is an issue, when discrimination of any kind is not tolerated, and when we can celebrate our diversity as a nation and the protection of every American's civil rights."
So the candidate I was helping, Gilbert Wong, won election to the Cupertino City Council. So I have been trying to have a birthday, work furiously on this election and discovered that it is not good to change hormones. After I changed my prescription I began to cry and cry and cry and cry and cry. Not just little teary eyed moments over a commercial but copious, knock-me-to-my-knees crying fits. Not so better living through chemistry. I finally realized what had happened and stopped taking them, called the doctor and said I want to go back to my old prescription NOW. Since then the birds are singing again and I am not such a big hormonal wuss.
Also in this time, ENDA was voted on. I cannot be joyful that my trans brothers and sisters were left behind. Even though the bill will now be dead moving to the Senate, it is still such anguish for me to think that gay and lesbian people decided to leave some of us behind.
Now I will go back to the New Mexico story. The ending is perfect, Governor Bill Richardson signs in to law a trans inclusive hate crime law, a non-discrimination law and then signs an executive order give domestic partnership benefits for state employees. What happened before all this is currently being rewritten in New Mexico to not include me who was on the floor of the House the night we got the ENDA bill passed nor my partner who was Executive Director of the statewide LGBT group.
What is critical to note are two things: 1. many lesbians and gays were more than willing to throw the trans community under the bus if it meant the L&G's would get something out of it. 2. what stopped that from happening is L&G people saying no, we all get there together. And that is what happened because many of us refused to be pushed around for expediency and showed a moral center. Compare this to secret deals, lies in public and a lack of a moral center for certain DC types.
There can be all the tut-tutting people want to say those of us who wanted to stay together are politically naive. To which I say I can live with that because I kept my word. However, I am not politically naive, I am experienced at many levels of lobbying and can walk the halls of Congress and Sacramento and talk to just about anybody. So when the multi-million dollar organizations throw their hands up in the air, it says a lot about our movement. WE have many people who lack a moral center. And don't care about transgender people. No wonder the LGBT people of color have been screaming for so long this again illustrates how this movement is about comfort with anyone not like us. How we are very quick to claim homophobia but are more than willing to throw those under the bus who aren't just like us.
It is a sad day indeed. I wonder what would have happened to all those gay men with AIDS whose lives were made better from all the lesbians who took care of them and loved them and changed their sheets and fed them and were left behind with broken hearts. So what if we had said, what do I have in common with these guys? Look they got infected, too bad, deal, you did this to yourselves. That isn't what happened though because somewhere deep inside of us, we saw our humanity in our dying brothers and could not look away or hide from the truth.
The grand compromise gave us nothing. WE are not better today than we were the day before this vote. But at least we see the people "in charge" for what they are: people without a moral center. Rosa Parks they are not.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
On the West coast it is about one hour away from the witching hour. It is also an hour away from my birthday. I haven't had any startling revelations yet but I will be sure to share here I if I do. Also I had two job interviews this week and both are jobs I would really enjoy. I would also really enjoy health benefits and a regular pay check. Throw an office in there with it within biking distance and I could be one happy homosexual! I feel the change coming that is why I have been trying to finish my projects at homelike hanging up my art work in my room. I applied today for a position with the Santa Clara County Sister Region Commission. The region would be Moscow. I can hardly stand it that I may get to have relationships with Muscovites and actually see the Faberge eggs, the Tretyakov Museum and a hockey game in Russia. Too bad I don't drink so I won't have tales of drinking Russian vodka. Oh but I will have pictures of St Basil's Cathedral. The Kremlin. Red Square, the Moscow subway. OH my GAWD, my mind boggles to think that I could meet with the Gay Russian man who has been organizing Pride in Moscow and gotten arrested twice for it. We could do some AIDS work! Ah the possibilities.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
So we went over there at the ungodly hour of 9:45 PM for the 10:15 tour. Now we are on the path to showing how old I am. 9:45 on Halloween weekend is apparently too much for me. There were a number of drunk people on the tour. So since I had paid a ridiculous amount of money for these tickets, I was really getting irritated with the drunken masses. I couldn't hear everything, they were loud, laughing too much and ruining my tour. So the old lady in me asked the tour guide to shut them up. See where I am going here? Birthday this week, acting like an old lady, complaining about drunks, old lady right?
Guess I better go warm up my milk and head to bed now.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A leading Republican blog is spot on:
I must point out though that things are much better at the San Diego Chargers stadium than at the Superdome. Among other things there are children's art classes and yoga for the displaced. Could it have something to do with the vast numbers of white people who are displaced as opposed to black folks in New Orleans? Naaaah, that would be racism.
"I find it very distasteful that while neighbors are dealing with these fires in their own way, whether directly impacted, or trying to empathize with those who have been - that they are being hounded by presidential campaigns - Republicans no less," wrote Jon Fleischman, the Irvine-based publisher of the Flashreport (www.flashreport.org), a leading GOP Web site.
"How candidates and officeholders react in the midst of a tragedy tells you a lot about whether they are focused on themselves, or on the people around them," he wrote.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
FROM THE OFFICE OF LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ
Representing California’s 39th District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2007
LINDA SÁNCHEZ votes against narrow version of EMPLOYMENT NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT
Congresswoman calls for inclusion of gender identity protections
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-Lakewood) issued the following statement when casting her vote today in the House Committee on Education and Labor against H.R. 3685, a narrow version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that excludes protections based on gender identity. Congresswoman Sánchez is an original cosponsor of H.R. 2015, the original version of ENDA that was introduced earlier this year and prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Congresswoman Sánchez joined three other Democrats in opposing H.R.3685 for similar reasons. The bill won approval by the Committee and is expected on the House floor next week. Congresswoman Sánchez is actively working to rally support for an anticipated amendment by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) to add gender identity protections into the legislation.
“I am pleased that last month, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on H.R. 2015, the original version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that was introduced earlier this year. I am a proud original cosponsor of that bill, which would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“I am disappointed that we're not marking up that bill today. Instead, we have a narrower, less inclusive version of the bill, which does not include gender identity.
“In the opening statement I submitted at last month's hearing, I said I was proud that as a member of this Committee, I was able to help make our employment laws consistent with our values.
“Unfortunately, this bill does not go far enough to enshrine American values into law because it fails to include protections to those who arguably need it most: transgender people, as well as those who don't conform to gender stereotypes. These are the most vulnerable people we sought to protect in H.R. 2015, the fully inclusive ENDA.
“I believe I am correct to say that it is an American value that it is unacceptable to deny someone a job, a raise, or a promotion for arbitrary factors beyond their job performance. And that is a value that holds true regardless of the worker’s real or perceived gender identity."
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
On Oct. 7, Archbishop George Niederauer delivered the Eucharist to members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - an activist group whose motto is "go forth and sin some more" - prompting cries of outrage from conservatives across the country and Catholics in San Francisco.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Dear Congresswoman Sanchez:
The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, on which you serve, is scheduled to vote within the next two days on H.R. 3685, the version of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) that excludes gender identity protection.
As leaders of the Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community throughout the United States we respectfully ask you to vote against approval of this version of ENDA and – instead - insist on a committee vote in favor of H.R. 2015, the version of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) that includes gender identity protections which would make employment discrimination against transgender people illegal.
You might be aware that these bills have drawn a tremendous response from various local and national LGBT organizations and leaders - as well as non-gay allies – who overwhelmingly recognize that stripping away gender identity language from ENDA would leave the transgender community without protections against discrimination.
And, as often is the case in the Latino community, the heated dialogue that has ensued might be considered by some as something that might pertain to the LGBT community but might not be of concern to Latinos living in the United States.
Those of us who have signed this letter, believe nothing could be further from the truth.
Over the last few decades, the LGBT movement in the United States certainly has made tremendous strides towards being recognized as equal citizens and yet, what is little known is that the Latino LGBT community and our Latino straight allies have been an integral part of this civil rights movement.
During the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, seen now as the launch of the modern gay rights movement, Sylvia Rivera emerged as one of the key figures standing up to discrimination during those fateful nights, along with other Latina women who happened to be transgender.
And, while it is unarguable that the general environment for gays and lesbians has greatly improved since the Stonewall Riots, thanks in no small part to Sylvia and other Latino trangender heroes, the same cannot be said for transgender people who are probably almost as vulnerable today as they were then.
Some in the gay community have argued that the ‘T’ as in “transgender” is not part of the gay community but, if you really think about it, when people discriminate against a person based on their perceptions of who we are as gays and lesbians, their discrimination is often based on their perception of gender roles and not only sexual orientation.
This is particularly true of the Latino community which often confuses the issues of gender with sexual orientation as if they were interchangeable. Spanish language newspapers and television news often refer to transgender individuals as gays and gay Latinos are often asked what their gender role is in bed – whether a gay man is a “woman” in bed or a lesbian woman is “a man” – which speaks to how these issues are sometimes seen in the general Latino community.
Furthermore, for those of us who are transgender, have transgender friends and/or work with transgender communities, we are direct witnesses to how vulnerable the community is to being discriminated particularly in gaining employment.
For these and many other reasons, we know that it would be unconscionable to pass an ENDA bill that leaves the transgender community – and the Latino transgender community in particular – behind.
On behalf of the Latino LGBT leaders listed below in alphabetical order, we look forward to hearing from you. If you need additional information or would like to ask questions about this statement, please contact me at XXXXX.
*Noel Alicea, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, New York, NY
* Marta Donayre, Love Sees No Borders, Sunnyvale, CA
*Andres Duque, Mano a Mano @ Latino Commission on AIDS, New York, NY
* Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, ALLGO statewide people of color organization, Austin, TX
* Nila Marrone, LATINO PFLAG - NYC, PFLAG for Families of Color and Allies in NYC (PFLAG is an acronym for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
*Lisbeth Melendez, political consultant, Washington, DC
*Gloria Nieto, former member of the Democratic National Committee, San Jose, CA
*Pedro Julio Serrano, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Washington, DC
* Herb Sosa, Unity Coalition/Coalicion Unida, Miami, FL
* Affiliations appear for identification purposes only, signatures do not imply that those affiliations endorse this letter unless otherwise indicated
Friday, October 12, 2007
In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said voters and the state Supreme Court should decide the issue. The high court is likely to rule next year on whether California's ban on gay marriages violates the constitution.Then a positive outcome will be the fault of activist judges. All these Republicans always want to pass the buck, it's the judges, no, it's the voters, no it's the legislators, no, it is a 12-year-old with no insurance.
This is what immorality looks like, not two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together, legally.
Again, since I have had an insider's perspective and I believe that telling the truth is a critical component of politics (Yes, I am old school that way) the case is a clash of the truth versus political expediency, power and privilege against one gay guy in the DNC trying to make sure all the homos get something from the adult table. I know this is a simplistic argument but it is also based on my experience at the DNC, the lies, the underhanded tactics, the punishment that occurs for speaking your mind and representing your constituency.
The LGBT part of the Democratic party has always been the red headed step child. The big dogs had no issues taking those checks but , lordy, we should not ask to be on the stage with us or be seen in public. In 2000 at the Presidential convention in Los Angeles, there were eight openly gay and lesbian speakers, including myself. In 2004 that number was three. There were more lesbian and gay delegates and way more transgender delegates but you would never know that from the number of speakers on the stage. The same thing could be said about the Latino delegation, hundreds of delegates and only two speakers on stage.
So when Howard Dean was elected chair of the DNC, there was great hope for inclusion. During the run up to the chair election, Dean promised the lesbian and gay caucus that there would continue to be a gay and lesbian desk (the insider term for a staff person who is focused on a certain constituency). What happens when Dean gets elected? No more desk. Everyone is to be blended into a new American Majority program.
Donald Hitchcock was the staff for the Democratic Leadership Council, the big bucks boob at the DNC. His job was squeeze every dime out of the homos with dough. Donald also saw his role as an advocate for the LGBT community, making sure that there were actions taken to support our issues.
When Paul Yandura, Donald's partner wrote a letter blasting the DNC for its lack of action on anti-gay election referendums in state's all over the country, guess what? Donald was fired.
So now a little farther down the path, this case is going to court. There is an error in the Blade's reporting on the case. The mediation they are headed for is part of a normal process in this type of procedure. The judge did not order Donald and the DNC into mediation. They now have four months to ask 36 questions of the litigants at the DNC. I can hardly wait for the answers.
This all could have been avoided too if the DNC, specifically the chair of the DNC, Howard Dean, had not been such a horse's butt. Donald asked for three things, a letter of recommendation, severance pay and a letter clarifying the harmful statements that had been said about Donald in the building. They tried a number of things to get the situation cleared up, asking people to approach Dean to get some resolution, getting their lawyer to apply some legal pressure, none of it worked.
So now here we are, the law suit to be heard at the beginning of the next year, a presidential election year. Nice to see the DNC has its priorities in order, especially toward the LGBT community. And ask yourself, when was the last time you heard from the DNC? Was it to ask for money? Heard any affirmations about our needs in the upcoming elections? I bet not.
I am sure once the questions are answered, we will have a lot more questions. And it will not be how much can I give you.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
- It is really really really white on that campus.
- I didn't realize that it is a really really really white campus when I was there.
- Things do change in 29 years.
- It is hard to move buildings but easy to add buildings. Therefore, I could still find my way around.
- I went to school with some wonderful people, especially Art Thompson and Wayne Miyamoto.
- Memories are good as memories. Going back to Chico, California was nice to do but I have no reason to go back again. I will always remember Helen's Donuts opening at 10 PM for the stoned college students to go and pick out our donuts in the back. I will remember being a successful sports writer but that person is gone. And that is just fine.
- A college town is just a town, it is not superior to the surrounding communities.
- I am still a student of life even after leaving college. There are many more lessons for me while I am here.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Then there was a Homo 101 class and suddenly all these queers were sitting in the same class room. I learned about chicken hawks and size queens, felching and snowballing, shrimp queens and leather queens. I loved hanging around these very witty gay men who introduced me to cocaine and poppers. I am also grateful I made it out alive!
This controversy about inclusion, lack of inclusion, who owns the movement and who is getting in the door first is truly sad. I am sad because I remember how hopeful we were then, before AIDS, at the dawn of liberation.
Liberation is apparently only for a few with the right body parts in the right order. Me, I think I will hang with my sisters and brothers who want the liberation for all. I think our party will be much more fun. Cus there won;t be anyone pushing each other out of the way to get at the front of the line.Besides, we are going to line up by height and I am the shortest so all you people line up in back of me. Let's get this party started. Belly up to the bar folks, equal rights for everyone.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
This is turning out to be a big week for me.
On Thursday I am returning to scene of my collegiate crimes, Chico State. My friend and former colleague, Art Thompson is getting inducted into our old newspaper's Hall of Fame. So I am driving in my convertible back to Chico State. Plus I have to buy a new Chico state sweatshirt for the autumn.
Then on Sunday, the magic moment arrives! My first hockey game! Dun da da! I will become old #78 and who knows what position I will play but I will be playing. whoohoo!
Monday, October 01, 2007
Pelosi, Miller, Frank and Baldwin Statement on ENDA
Washington, D.C. -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, Congressman Barney Frank, and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin issued the following statement today on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):
"After discussions with congressional leaders and organizations supporting passage of ENDA, we have agreed to schedule mark-up of the bill in the Committee on Education and Labor later this month, followed by a vote in the full House. This schedule will allow proponents of the legislation to continue their discussions with Members in the interest of passing the broadest possible bill."
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I am one of the few people in the country who can say on my resume that passed trans inclusive hate crimes and ENDA bills in my former home state. My former Governor, Bill Richardson, signed those bills. So I wanted to add my centavos to this discussion.
I don't want more rights than my sister Virginia Stephenson in New Mexico. She and I were two of the three lobbyists in New Mexico who got these bills passed. The entire process was stunning for the incredible amount of selfish dialogue the supposed progressive LGBT "community" engaged in during that time. I feel like I have dropped into a parallel universe, four years later.
As today, people are claiming ownership of the ENDA bill. One only has to drop in at AMericaBlog to see this. I worked on this 13 years ago...blah blah blah. The waiting period will continue because it is not like, even if both Houses pass this biil, Bush will not sign it. This is like trying to buy a house with monopoly money, it is not real.
So why throw a whole class of our movement away for something that is not going to pass? Some theories have been offered having to do with Pelosi getting an award from HRC. I hope to god parts of our community are not disposable for an award. I have been in Pelosi's office in San Francisco, it's not like she is needing more hardware to hang on the wall.
BTW, Pride at Work has is going to stage a picket line at the HRC dinner so if you want to do something to show your outrage, here is something. Look for more co-sponsors this week for the picket line.
At any rate I want to make a few more points. We now see in all its nakedness the lack of clothing on some supposed progressives. Don't ever holler about discrimination against homos when you treat someone the same way you have been treated. And really don't holler about it when you cash that check from HRC so there is never any criticism about HRC at your blog, Mr America. That is dishonest journalism. Oh wait, it is not journalism, it is, well you all know what it is.
A few weeks ago I had dinner with Virginia when she was visiting in San Francisco. She told me she will always remember how I stood soiid and strong for the transgender community during that struggle. I was screamed at, I was punished, I was isolated. But we won. Today I can look Virginia in the eye as my sister and friend and know I did the right thing.
I wish our supposed leaders would do the same.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
That means, I think, that I will never remember my brilliant thought about the Democratic primary. Oh well, at least I didn't forget to fix Walter Reed Hospital or New Orleans. I will leave that to the dumb ass in chief. I have an excuse. I have mental pause.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
First, not one damn vote has been cast yet. A few years back, I had a conversation or two with some Deaniacs. They were convinced then that the good doctor would be the next nominee. Again, no ballots had been cast. We know the end of that story. Many things could happen before the primary votes are cast in Iowa and New Hampshire next year. I realize it will be all over after Super Duper Tuesday in February so we are not that far off. But, hey, not everyone is paying attention to the debates let alone the campaigns except the political junkies like myself and friends.
Second, oh, damnit, I forgot. Anyway, no votes, only polls don't mean anything is over or even begun. Alright, alright the campaigning has begun. I could go see Hillary on Sunday up in Oakland but I think I will go play hockey instead.
I went back to my favorite volunteer work today. I am a coach for an after school sports program for children in wheel chairs. I wiped saliva off chins, translated requests for water from children with serious disabilities and loved every single minute of it. As I looked at their faces, I wondered what the next president could and would do for these children? Who will stand up for them and make the country better for them?
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Today it was nice to melt back into that comfort and safety. It was also nice to enjoy the fact that we are alive and near each other to be able to do this type of thing. I am so glad I came back home.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress are:
- Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM)
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
- Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
- Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA)
- Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)
- Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA)
- Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
- Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA)
- Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
- Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-CA)
- Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
- Rep. Timothy F. Murphy (R-PA)
- Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
- Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
- Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
- Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY)
- Rep. David Scott (D-GA)
- Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL)
- Rep. Heather A. Wilson (R-NM)
- Rep. Don Young (R-AK)
Today is very much a day of Thanksgiving for me. Plenty of items on my gratitude list. The lovely wife, the house, the animals, waking up every day without a hangover. And while there have been many sorrows along the way, I still wouldn't change a day because of the lessons in the low parts.
So I will enjoy the day, share my happiness with all who cross my path today and thank my Higher Power for the joys of a live well lived.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Last Monday I sat in front HP Pavilion to get another Shark autograph. This time it was Craig Rivet. I have a new friend from these little escapades and we sit in line together. I go with her inside to the Sharks store so we can get my discount and then we talk the whole time we are there. We chat up all the other people in line. Certainly makes me like the Sharks community even more.
One of the guys in line is going to school over in Livermore. He came down to visit his girlfriend and get an autograph. Turns out he is also a Marine in the reserves. I, of course, asked about any time spent in Iraq. He has already been over there twice and is looking at another stint.
Monday was also the day Petraeus gave his first report so it was interesting to talk to a vet that day. He didn't think we should be in Iraq. I wished him well and told him I hoped he never had to go back. None of them should go back and all the rest need to come home. Tomorrow.
I am so sorry I didn't get the chance to reconnect with him since I got back. I knew he had been living with AIDS for a long time. At one point I had heard he was living around the corner from me but I never found him.
In high school I remember him from the school musicals and choir. He had a lovely tenor voice and was just so gay in those musicals. Of course I had no idea he was so gay. But he was always true to himself and I was glad to have known him if only for a little while when we were young.
As Terry O pointed out today to me, AIDS is certainly not over. Not by a long shot. Rest in peace my brother.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I went to my nephew's football game last Friday and I now retract that statement and thought. Eeeeew, high school is icky and so are high school students. They are so loud and self obsessed. I thought I was at a political convention. EWWWW.
If it wasn't for wanting to support the nephew I would stay at home, in the quiet of my casita and read the New Yorker. I am officially old.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Hmm, let's see, Sharks start practices next week. The first pre-season game is the following week and I spent most of today trying to get to this moment.
Got the autographs, got a minute of face time with Pat Marleau whoohoo.
The Dem club meeting was fabulous because my candidate got the sole endorsement for his run for Cupertino City Council. I am helping Gilbert Wong in his campaign since I have so much free time. At least I am well liked and treated well in this environment as opposed to the last place.
Go Sharks and go Glo!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Yes apparently this lack of a job messes with my ability to read a calender. Last week I went to unemployment a day too early. Today I went to an event at the Shark Tank that is scheduled for tomorrow.
Plus it wasn't just an event, Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau is signing autographs.. So I went over there with a briefcase full of autograph and reading material. I had a camp chair slung over my shoulder ready to park myself for the duration so I could get an all kinds of stuff autographed. I figured I could knock off some Christmas presents.
The women at the Sharks store were very nice but I was obviously their knucklehead of the day. Plus I forgot my wallet so I couldn't even buy something while I was there. Next thing you know I will forget...never mind I can't remember.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Yesterday I went to my nephew's football game and by the time we were headed for the car and I was thinking about slamming into the next person who pissed me off for breathing the wrong way. That would be slamming with my car. The first target would be the football coach. What an asshole.I won;t bore you with his lack of skills that are on full display with his team. The score was 13-0 before we sat down 8 minutes into the first period. It did not get better.
Thank gawd I am going to the ice rink tomorrow for a break. If not, please, everyone in the south bay area get the hell away from this hot, menopausal woman if you want to see Tuesday.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Well I watered the lawn and walked one of the dogs. Good lord could it get any more boring? But oh so satisfying. It was a good week to be a Democrat.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Today I went and met mom at the hospital so I can get my own blood drawn and she needed to do the same. From there we went to donut heaven, Stan's donuts. We talked about a lot of things on Toledo Av. Then I took her to see my mom so they could visit. They were best friends for years and years so it was nice to see them together again, chatting away...
From there I took neighbor mom to a mental institution to see her youngest daughter who is schizophrenic. Today is the daughter's birthday. I haven't seen the daughter in probably 35 years. She has lived a really hard life and every inch shows on her face. She is missing a lot of teeth, is in a wheel chair and is a ward of the state. We talked and I humored her about going out to a movie or something. I lasted a half an hour.
I took mom back to her car and promised to see her tomorrow at chemo. The next time I think about being sad, I will remember that institution. Today could have been a great day to see the downfall of Alberto Gonzalez but I saw the face of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses instead. I have to remember today that I have a good life even if I live in Bush's America.
Friday, August 24, 2007
As I was listening to Air America today I was reminded about the fact that no one has cast a vote yet for any candidate and yet the MSM is proclaiming Hillary the winner of all primaries to come. Which then reminded me of Dean's scream in Iowa and how Dean was going to win it all and then, whoops, he lost. Could we be having another case of deja vu? Or could it be the season is already too long and I can't care yet.
Yes well tomorrow I have a high school reunion and who cares about Presidential elections in the face of seeing people from Buchser High? Not me.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
So I am bordering on being an old biddy. I am 52 years old and I have played sports my entire life. Softball, swimming, water polo, soccer have all been part of my life at one time or another. Tonight I played ice hockey for the first time and I had the time of my life!
I was the first to fall and smacked my head but good. I managed that feat twice more during the course of the evening. But I came away with a new found appreciation for my boys in teal. But now I know how to stop on the ice. I can get up with the use of my stick. I skated backwards for just a little bit. And I played about 10 minutes of actual on ice hockey. W00ohoo00!
So I will now sign up for the beginners league. I purchased some used equipment tonight also. I am the proud owner of not just one but two hockey sticks. I also kind of know how to put all the equipment on. Yeah baby, now if I can just quit falling on my ass, let alone bouncing on my head.
Monday, August 13, 2007
He was a VERY high draft number, like, 12. That year the draft was put on hold and he didn't have to go to Vietnam. We both applied to Chico State and we had planned on living together. I got in to Chico and he didn't. He got married very young, like when he was 20. I, obviously, became a big lesbo.
So while I am jubilant that Karl Rove is going to hit the road, I was reminded that I have real relationships and history with real people who are conservative. So I may disagree with home politically but it doesn't matter. He is still my brother and we share a very long history together. In the end, humanity wins.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I had been complaining over at Pam's pad that there were no Latinos. My friend, Wilfred, corrected me. In fact there were four, Margo Gomez, Wilson Cruz, Pedro Julio Serrano and Eric Alva. Wow that is some representation! Way to go HRC.
Also on Thursday I went to see my sister at her job at kaiser. We had lunch listening to the kaiser choir. I saw the boss-from-hell there carting her little bundle of joy around. EEEEWWWW! As we were listening to the choir, I looked down and saw a bundle of Focus on the Family magazines. I was horrified. I explained to my sister who the homophobes are and promptly picked up their trash and put it in the nearest receptacle. Ah empowerment. I may not have a job but I still know how to do the right thing.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
- If I hear one more Dem debate pundit say Hillary could have been strident but wasn't tonight, my head will blow off. Thus the lesson, don't listen to them.
- I am just looking for a job, not validation of who I am.
- It is ok to make money and not kill myself at work.
- It is really alright to make money to support myself.
- My next job is just a job.
Monday, August 06, 2007
On the other hand, I posted a diary once on Kos and got reamed. That was really no fun. I think I am too old to be fanatical but old enough to be thoughtful about my time and resources. I don't like going places where I am not wanted.
The blogosphere is the Wild West, not many rules, lots of flames and cybershots. I finally found some thoughtful places to hang out besides over at Pam's pad and with Blabbeando.
This last weekend was the DKos convention. All the big blogs were posting about what a good time they had there. I felt like the really uncool person in high school again. The "couldn't get there, no ride" syndrome I remember all too well from Buchser High in the 70's. Yup, no job, no money to spend on a weekend in Chicago, watching from the outside as everyone else got to rub elbows and do movies and blog about each other.
Now there has been some blowback about the WaPo doing an article saying the group was mostly white male. The women participants are talking about their apparent invisibility to the media. Point well taken.
However, I think it is irritating that there are also wide spread concessions that the gathering was nearly as diverse or representative of the blogosphere. To which I would respond, I think it is probably very reflective of the blogosphere.
Recently I was interviewed by a woman talking to Latino bloggers. She had some looking to do in order to find us. Look at the composition of the big blogs, where are the women, where are the people of color? With the exception of Pachacutec at FireDogLake, I can't really find POC in the top groups. Remember earlier this year when Clinton invited top bloggers to meet with him? Not a person of color to be seen at a meeting in Harlem. I'll give AmericaBlog props for inviting Pam on to that blog but one sister does not make diversity in the blogosphere.
I asked Digby to feature more people of color blogs, invite us to guest blog, do something. All those blogs at the top have opened doors now it is time to let some of the rest of come through.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I was also able to talk to the Congresswoman.
In short, she voted against FISA. I was so glad. At least I know she is truly representing me. She also said there is some sign of hope for the DREAM Act. She is also working on getting the visa backlogs straightened out so that eligible residents can get their citizenship faster than the current slower-than-hell process. I feel a little optimistic about those outcomes.
I also feel good about my chances of landing another job soon. My network here is much wider than last time I was unemployed. I know I have a good reputation and people are very supportive, especially in the Asian community. So back to the job market tomorrow.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I am sure no one in this room knows what it is like to feel like the “other.” To look different, speak differently and feel differently than, say, all the people at your job or the store. To be different in your culture and your values, all these components can make us feel alone and isolated.
What do we want, what do we need for the feeding our souls and spirit? Of course, it is community. Having people we can call with good news and bad, laughter and tears, gives us a sense of belonging, being part of community.
When Evan Low invited me to join the APALI program I had no idea I was in for a life changing experience. I had the opportunity to be in a classroom with my colleagues for months, to share laughter and tears, shared wisdom, caring and food for the soul. Through the shared vision of Dr. Chang and Ruben Abrica, we have created a new community for ourselves in the Santa Clara Valley. We are the face of this Valley. We are the face of a new vision of hope.
Daily we are faced with the realities of different cultures, different ways of expressing ourselves (and is that ever different!), the different stories of our lives and the need to strengthen our relationships and shared values to make the Santa Clara Valley the model for this country. We know how to get along, we know how to support each other, we want to see our communities in elected positions, on committees, providing a voice for those who have been quiet.
APALI has given me that and more. Today I feel part of the APA community as a trusted friend. Today I feel honored and respected as part of two communities working together to make our little part of the world a lot better.
Today I addressed envelopes for Gilbert Wong’s campaign because he is my brother. I talked today with Anne Im, Linda Leu and Winnie Lee because they are my sisters. I have been hugged and loved, able to share love, compassion and a vision as a family to change the hate and prejudice to love and acceptance. Our shared humanity gives us a chance to walk this path together.
I would just like to share one last thing, a vision from a Hopi elder.
To my fellow swimmers-
There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid, who will try to hold on to the shore; they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river and keep our heads above the water.
And I say “See who is there with you to celebrate. At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves, for the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves. Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. For we are the ones we have been waiting for.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
LIBERATION, LIBERATION, LIBERATION LIBERATION, LIBERATION. For the Mexican woman without a job, LIBERATION, LIBERATION, LIBERATION. She wants a job with be-ne-fits, LIBERATION, LIBERATION. She wants a job where she likes the boss and the boss respects her, LIBERATION, LIBERATION. So she will try to find her perfect job, her perfect job. And she will stay there for a very long time. LIBERATION, LIBERATION. Her spouse will have be-ne-fits too and they will be well and they will haaaaaapy. Forever and ever, LIBERATION, LIBERATION, FOREVER LIBERATION, LI-BE-RAAAAAA-TION!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
On the brighter side, today was our third wedding anniversary. So it wasn't too ugly all day.
I need to figure out what I really want to do. This last job was never right. I didn't get along with the boss, working conditions were totally ghetto and I didn't get along with the boss. Did I mention I didn't get along with the boss? Tomorrow I will be the housewife, clean the floors, pick up the poop in the yard and work on the tomatoes. Oh, sleep in late maybe, write a speech I am giving on Thursday, clean the guinea pig cage and print business cards.
As demoralizing as this feels, it is more demoralizing to the not have a job where one is appreciated. I am liberated. OK, maybe I am working on that one.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
But the worst is the continuing saga of Pat Tillman's death. Now from the AP is
of Army demotions and attempts by Army staff to have his death investigated immediately after his demise. Here are some of the lowlights of this story:
_ In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."
_ Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.
_ The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.
_ No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene — no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
Over at Firedoglake, there is discussion that his death by fragging was a result of his anti-war opinions. Not just fratricide but a deliberate murder to cover up for BushCo. What's makes this really disgusting to me is that I can truly believe this story because of the lies. We lost our humanitythe day Pat Tillman died.
Monday, July 23, 2007
To be around some of the women I grew up with was a laugh riot, something to savor and a time to remember. We caught up on all our illnesses, our parents, kids (not that I have any to report) and childhood nicknames. We took pics together and ribbed each other about things like fainting in church.
It sure would be nice of we could find ways in our busy lives to get together for something besides a funeral. I making a mental note to do that before October. A neighborhood reunion before another funeral. What a concept.
For people who know me, this is not news. I am very short. I can also be a tad impatient. The combination of the two elements caused me grief yesterday.
As I have said before, the tomatoes are growing briskly. There are many cages up to keep the plants up and off the ground. I spied tomatoes in the middle of the jungle yesterday afternoon. So rather than wait for Jo to come help me, I just started leaning over and leaning over and then I was surrounded by tomato plants having fallen into the garden. Flat on my ass, crushing I don't know what.
I finally asked Jo to come over and help me try to put everything back together with the new cages I had just bought. A timely purchase.
But dammit, all that work and now my vibrant veggie garden looks schmoozed. Not to mention how embarrassed I am.
Oh well, back to work and waiting for someone tall enough to pick the toms.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I am starting to giveaway the tomato fruits of my labor. My tomato plants are over 6 feet tall and starting to pop out cherry toms plus I plucked two today of some sort of heirloom. It is called something weird like Uncle Bert's radiator mortgage lifter. I am waiting to see the Black Pineapple variety not to mention the Early Girl that has disappeared in the wilds of this garden. The cherry toms are now wrapped around the 7 foot sunflower.
The squash is really taking off which is nothing short of frightening. My aunt in New Mexico wants some squash flowers because she cooks them. She said just get the male flowers because they won't produce fruit. Which of course begs the question of how do you tell a male flower. She got me when she said to look for their little balls.
It is now the middle of summer and I am much more interested in the progress of the tomato jungle than the jungle of legislation. Watching the garden grow is much more of a contribution to my sanity thus providing inner peace for moi.
Summer in this part of California is a time of lovely evenings, green grass, picnics and barbecues. And now tomatoes. I am doing my best to enjoy all of it.
So goodbye politics for the day, hello ripe veggies. Funny thing, I don't even like tomatoes. But many people around me do so I am making my contribution to salads and salsas, sauce and shishkabob. Ahhhhhh, summer.
In California I have 8 foot tomato plants that are beginning to produce. I have harvested a couple of big ol squash, onions and divine garlic. Whoo, there is no bush in that garden except tomato bushes.
And that, my friends, is the moral of the story, bush is only good for tomatoes.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Living by a Hopi elder's prophecy
"To my fellow swimmers:
There is a river now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid, wo will try to hold on to the shore: they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river and keep our heads above water.
And I say 'See who is there with you and celebrate.' At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves, for the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the lone wold is over. Gather yourselves. Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. For we are the ones we have have been waiting for."
Taken from an address given by an elder of the Hopi Nation, November, 2006
Saturday, July 14, 2007
What a great way to forget the sorry state of the world, the country and the total lack of integrity by Republicans. Senator Vitter of Louisiana and his addiction to prostitutes both in LA and DC is a real knee slapper. I enjoy this even more since the self-righteous hypocrite claimed at one point that the need to install homophobia in the Constitution was the single most important issue in this country. He was one of the lead sponsors on the Defense of Marriage Amendment.
Hypocrisy thy name is Vitter.
In the meantime, we at this lesbo house will enjoy the company of family and friends. with children in the front yard running theough sprinklers. So who has the real family values?
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Sly is about 60 something now. He came on stage looking weary. He looked like he had really lived through the 60's and grabbed every slice of whatever was offered. But that voice was unmistakable. However thanks to the sound people, his mic didn't work, we couldn't hear his organ, two of the singers had to share a mic and oh yes, there was feedback.
On top of it, the sound system was so f*cked up, it took forever in between the Average White Band and Sly to try to get things going. So while we were politely waiting, the boob promoter got on stage and started doing a God speech. Dressed for a party, mister want-to-be-important started telling us about God in his life. Whatever.
Then he made a comment that he would stop talking soon and people started clapping. He was shocked, I tell you, shocked that we didn't want to hear him. A precious moment in the evening.
At any rate, the band was jamming, we were dancing and then, boom, it was over. Seems there is a city ordinance that no music can be played after 9. So with all the technical f/u's we were all left a little hungry for more of the man.
The tickets were cheap, we had a girls night out so I don't feel bad about the evening. We heard from Tierra, El Chicano and Malo playing their greatest hits. Average White Band was impressive and played a fabulous set. There was no alcohol so the crowd was very mellow. The weather was nice, the tunes were great and we got to see Sly. Ah yes, summer in California.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Of course I am much more interested in the latest Villagairosa gossip. Seems the woman he has been having an affair with for A YEAR has had previous dalliances with Fabian Nuñez and other Latino political types. Summer is much more fun with gossip.
This however, makes the 2010 gubernatorial race much more interesting. Now Gavin is back in the race because his indiscretions are even up with LA's mayor. Handsome boy cheaters for Guv.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
First, I have to say I find it outrageous that Paris Hilton served more time than Libby. Hell, I have served more time than Libby.
Second, is this the dame crowd that howls at the moon every night over "illegals" crossing the border? Is this the same crowd who was apoplectic over "amnesty" for undocumented people? Is this not amnesty for Scooter? Is this not the same frigging thing except one guy belongs to the country club and the other people are just plain brown? I say yes.
So while people are outraged over this piece of caca from Bush, let us not forget the people who go left by the wayside last week with the collapse of the immigration bill. They will still live in the shadows while the real criminals live in DC.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
After his partner criticized the Democratic National Committee for not doing enough on gay issues, Donald Hitchcock lost his job as the group's director of fund-raising from gay donors. Coincidence? Hitchcock thinks not. He sued the DNC, chairman Howard Dean, and two others this May—and speaks here for the first time anywhere about what happened to him.
By Dan Allen
An Advocate.com exclusive posted June 29, 2007
In May 2006, Donald Hitchcock was fired by the Democratic National Committee as director of its Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council—less than a week after his partner, fellow Washington politico Paul Yandura, e-mailed high-level Democratic donors and suggested they withhold financial support from the DNC in protest of the group's apparent neglect of antigay ballot initiatives. Hitchcock, whose role was to raise funds from gay donors, claimed his sudden dismissal was retaliatory, but the DNC denied the charge. Indeed, in an Advocate interview at the time, Dean suggested that Hitchcock's poor job performance was to blame.
This May, after settlement negotiations failed, Hitchcock filed a lawsuit in District of Columbia superior sourt against the DNC, Dean, treasurer Andy Tobias (who is gay), and deputy finance director Julie Tagen, alleging retaliation, defamation, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Again, the DNC denied the allegations.
Hitchcock hasn't spoken publicly about his firing or the lawsuit, but in this exclusive interview he finally breaks his silence, maintaining the DNC ousted him unfairly and charging that other perceived wave-makers at the group faced similar strong-arm tactics. And in a bittersweet twist, he reveals that his replacement at the leadership council, Brian Bond, sought strategy advice from him after he was dismissed.
The Advocate: Let's start at the beginning: Did you have any knowledge of Paul's letter before he sent it?
Hitchcock: No, I did not.
If you had, would you have tried to stop him from sending it?
Well, first of all, when it happened I was in New Orleans at the Democratic National Committee meeting, so he was doing it on his own. And Paul has his own credentials to criticize the party. Paul worked in the White House [as an aide to the Clinton administration], he was the executive director of the Stonewall Democrats, and he was actually hired by Andy Tobias as the first GLLC director for the DNC. And anyone who knows Paul knows that me wanting to stop him wouldn't stop him. He's his own political entity, and he's been in politics in D.C. for 13 years.
And within days of Paul's letter you were asked to leave the DNC.
That's right. I was asked to leave by Julie Tagen. She pulled me aside as a friend and asked me to resign. What I found out [later] was that there was a strategy to ask me to resign. It wasn't just a friend talking to a friend; it was an effort and a discussion that had occurred with some other DNC employees. She had already asked me to keep Paul silent. And because I couldn't keep Paul silent, I feel I was asked to resign.
The DNC has said that it was your poor job performance, not retaliation, that lead to your dismissal.
The derogatory comments were to cover up what the DNC had done to me and to try to shame me for something that Paul said. They continually attacked me, thinking I wouldn't defend myself. They had to cover their tracks to make it look like they weren't punishing me for somebody criticizing the party.
Was there any indications up to that point that your superiors were unhappy with your job performance?
No, there was no problem with that. I didn't have any negative performance reviews. I've never been written up, and I was never reprimanded. So that all came out of the blue.
What did you think when you read Howard Dean's comments in The Advocate last year alluding to your poor job performance?
It didn't surprise me, because there was already that kind of talking point coming out of the DNC. The fund-raisers had been doing that for some time. Ultimately they're just trying to raise money from our community. It was actually a sad, shameful thing for Governor Dean to say, because there was no poor job performance review or any sort of criticism of my performance while I was at the DNC.
What was the most shocking aspect of how things went down?
That the fund-raisers in the Democratic Party feel that they can't be held accountable for defaming somebody, and they're exempt from consequences when they go out and slander people that used to work for the Democratic Party. This lawsuit's about holding them accountable and holding the Democratic Party to our values.
Have things changed at all for the better at the DNC since you've left?
I don't think so. What a lot of people don't know is that Brian [Bond] asked to meet with me a few months ago to discuss the strategy of what's happening within the DNC. Brian even called Paul and asked if he'd keep up the outside pressure during the delegate selections rule fight, because the senior staff was working against the gay community's desires. Brian specifically asked that Paul keep up the pressure so that we didn't get screwed in the process. He will obviously deny this, because if he doesn't, he'll be fired. But during the court proceedings everyone will be under oath--including myself--and I look forward to shining some sun on this.
Joseph Sandler, who's representing the defendants in your suit, has said that the DNC won't respond publicly to your charges, and has asked people to keep in mind that “everything you see may well be one-sided for a while.” How do you respond to that?
One thing we should point out is that it's been one-sided from them for a long time. Now the community is actually seeing two sides to this issue. I've been silent over the past year around my firing. I've been talking about policy issues of substance. Unfortunately, the DNC believed I wouldn't protect myself and they could act with reckless abandon in order to keep money flowing. I've always held the Democratic party to a higher ideal. I walked into the DNC building expecting more out of the Democratic Party. The easy thing for me now would be to walk away and be quiet, because we've been meeting people who have done just that. As we're telling our story, they're saying, “That happened to me [too]”--not with regard to LGBT discrimination, but personal attacks and defamation against anyone who stands up to the party.
All under the Dean regime?
That is under the Dean regime. Several people have approached us where this has happened to them, and we're referring them to our lawyers.
Do you worry that this could affect fund-raising for the DNC going into 2008, especially given that the presidential campaign has already begun?
Well, I'm a loyal Democrat, and I want to help the Democratic Party. I think this lawsuit can help the Democratic Party get better on our issues. Honest conversation can only move us forward. The DNC could have settled this privately. I approached them at least five times before going public, but the DNC lawyers or senior staff refused to settle out of court.
Can you talk at all about the settlement you tried to reach?
I don't want to go into details, but the settlement was really not about money. The settlement was clearing my name and setting the record straight about my job performance at the DNC and also asking DNC agents to stop defaming me. There were no hard lines in the sand. It was just about coming to the table and having a responsible conversation and being honest about what's happened so we could all move forward. But it's obviously the stubbornness and arrogance of their senior staff that prevents them from coming to the table. For them it's all about money, and that means fighting this with a P.R. spin campaign and trying to keep this from hurting their fund-raising. For me, it's about doing the right thing, having the right values, and expecting our party to have the values that we all espouse.
How has this experience affected your career?
When this happened to me I kind of reevaluated where I was at. It's hard to say, because the DNC fund-raisers have spoken to a lot of influential people about my job performance. I actually am very interested in the Democratic movement and staying in the LGBT movement, and I do not want to be criticized when I speak on policy issues moving forward--and this is what has been happening. I'm back in school getting a master's in public policy, but I'm not going anywhere.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I certainly slept better last night because Paris was out of jail, how about you?
I predict the head of the California Hypocrites, I mean Republican party will resign on Friday afternoon. I also would like to see Elizabeth Edwards run for President since she supports marriage for my team. Ms Marinucci scored both those scoops. Funny how Media Matters was all up in her koolaid that she was so anti-Dem by cherry picking her articles then she gets to prove otherwise.
This was enough to make me kick up my heels today. The Senate Judiciary slapped Bush and his homeboys with subpoenas. Oh yes, let the howling begin.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday, demanding documents and elevating the confrontation with President Bush over the administration's warrant-free eavesdropping on Americans.
Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee also is summoning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to discuss the program and an array of other matters that have cost a half-dozen top Justice Department officials their jobs, committee chairman Patrick Leahy announced.
Does anyone else think that it is really early for Presidential endorsements? I am waiting all this out to see who makes the first stumble.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
But they are going to be highlighting the fact the Elizabeth Edwards will be there in the parade. I think that shows some political sophistication for both sides, the lgbt community and the Edwards campaign. I think this is wonderful news.