Month: October 2009

I attended the National Equality March for gay rights

We left Saturday evening around midnight. We were supposed to leave at 11PM but the one of the drivers had twisted his ankle.

It’s a good thing too. We had about 34 people a the Stop & Shop on Branch Ave rally spot, and we picked up another 20 students from Brown University. So we managed to fill a bus, in fact we actually had to turn a few people away.

On the ride down I think the only one who got any sleep was my friend Rich. Otherwise I was either listening to my iPod (Which needs a little surgery, the earphone jack is messed up.) or talking or trying to sleep but I was far too excited to sleep. Very early in the morning I did hear someone explaining quantum physics and the Standard Model to Luther but I’m not sure who it was, probably one of the Brown students.

Other people that I knew on the bus were both Brians (Brian C. and Brian R.), Josh, James, Shaun, Paul H. and Paul L, and Brandon and probably some whose names escape me at the moment since one of the effects of sleep deprivation is loss of cognitive function.

We got in to Washington, D.C. at 7:30AM and the first order of business was breakfast and yes, coffee. I needed the caffeine blast. Supplemented it with Coca Cola later on at lunch.

We went to this little Burger King since it was the only thing that was a) not a Starbucks and b) We couldn’t find a basic mom and pop shop in D.C. that served breakfast. So Burger King it was. I had a sausage croissant with something that might pass for home fries but turned out to be hard little pucks of potato .The second floor of the place was straight out of the 1970’s:

Burger King in DC
Burger King in DC

Don’t worry – you’re not seeing things. I guess the caffeine had kicked in when I snapped the above frame.

After BK we ran into the Equality Utah folks at a convenience store. Rich was a little shocked by that since Utah is well known as a Mormon stronghold

We spent a little time wandering around D.C. checking out statuary, monuments and such.

Saw the White House and I can’t believe how dinky it looks.

White House
White House

She who hocked the Jewels to finance the journey of Columbus. Apropos for Columbus day isnt’ it?

Queen Isabel
Queen Isabel

The inscription roughly translates to “Ysabel’s first Catholic kingdom of aragon castile islands and mainland of the ocean sea.

The Washington Monument:

Washington Monument
Washington Monument

We saw that as well as statues of Andrew Jackson, and other notables.

We grabbed lunch at a little place called Cosi’s. I had the roast beef with wasabi and pickled ginger. It was a little pricey since the sandwich, chips and a drink came to $9.99. Though I very rarely order out anymore so I may have lost touch with prices. I ended up taking $60 with me and only spending $30 throughout the day.

I noticed during the morning that we didn’t see a lot of people milling around. I found out later why that was the case.

They staggered the locations and times for all the bus drop offs.

Just before the march there was a little warm up march.

We left the restaurant at about 11:30AM and made our way over to the rally point at 15th and K Streets. What we hadn’t realized it buy by the time we got to the really point, there was that a large group had already stepped off for the march. If you click on my flickr photos you’ll see a few parts where the pictures capture the march as it’s already turned the corner and is heading down another street.

Here is a video when we were waiting to kick off the march. They staged it pretty well though.

An Edge Providence photographer took some pics with me, Rich, RI Rep. Frank Ferri, and his partner Tony Caparco. Rich and I both had our MERI t-shirts on.

I’ll have more video from the march soon. I hadn’t realized what a bear it is to process just 15 or so minutes of raw video.

During the march itself we were chanting various things. At one point a D.C. cop helped us to keep cadence with his whistle.

When we finally got to the U.S. Capitol it was getting mobbed. I decided to go use the facilities but couldn’t get back in to hear the speakers. So I wandered the city a bit instead but I can tell you this, the crowd was at least a quarter million people or more.

And there were only a small handful of religious idiots on the sidelines. One carried the standard “1 Man, 1 Woman” sign. Fucking bigot. I believe but cannot verify that I told him to “Stick your god up your ass.”

Otherwise the parade was uneventful. We did have a chant-off with a group from Texas though. And I loved every minute of it. As I post more video and pictures you’ll understand. In fact the march had a certain energy to it. I really really loved being there.

On the bus ride back we watched the movie “Milk”. The movie was ideally coupled to what we just did. That was Harvey Milk’s main modus operandi. Get out and be an activist.

One funny moment came when Paul L. was perusing Facebook learned that I was gay. I just gave him the “It’s pretty obvious.” look.

Otherwise on the ride back we pretty much slept. I even slept from the end of Milk until we were just about out of Connecticut. So that’s about an hour and half. I did wake up in time to see Orion just above the horizon when we were still in the Connecticut woods.

Got home around 2:40AM, kissed Keyron, and went to bed. Rolled out of bed at 9AM. And I’m still recovering. My throat is sore and I’m just coming down off a major caffeine jag. This is the reason I don’t normally drink coffee.

I know that this one came on kind of fast but I think we’ll see another one next year. I just have that feeling because of the foot dragging over DADT and DOMA. So I think they should start planning now. We need to turn up the pressure on our elected reps. If you didn’t make it this year, you damn well better make the next march!

And I promise to be more coordinated next time, E.g. I’ll buy a throw-away cell phone so we can all link up. And I think knowing the city a little better I can suggest rally points (10th and K is actually a good one) for those who wish to join the group.

And when I got home I had an idea. The idea was to find all Marriage Equality supporters in Governor Carcieri’s home districts. Couple that with the fact that Carcieri has open door Thursdays and you can see where this is going. I found 250 people on the list so here we go!

Getting ready

We are now at T-3:19. At 11PM EDT, I leave for Washington D.C. with the folks from PEAC as well as other people wanting to be part of the National Equality March.

This will be my the fourth time I’ve been to Washington D.C. making it twice as a kid, twice as an adult.

Should be an interesting march. Two hours to cover a 2.3 mile route – that works out to about a little over a mile per hour. I’m going to have to slow down.

Highlights of my Email Exchange with Susan Heroux

I understand the need for a strong activist network. That is something that MERI simply cannot do though I’m making it easier for them to do so. This means giving district leaders a list of all the supporters in their district, or all the people in their district.

You do know that I theorize that the upstart groups including one I’m active with have a thread that says MERI is single issue. And I’ll continue that with the fact that some groups have a desire to keep the cause in perpetuity.

So I emailed Susan Heroux, the founder of Queer Action Rhode Island and asked what their group has done over the last three months other than hold a picnic?

This was her response:

Yeah, ’cause I feel such a need to justify myself to u. We have accomplished a lot in 3 mo. U can read our email newsletter to find out about that. I don’t recall anything you’ve accomplished except acting like an ass and giving our opponents things to hang their hats on.

Let me just say I find people who use SMS abbreviations in emails ridiculous. I consider it the height of laziness. Plus she’s using an iPhone so I know it auto-suggests based on the first few letters. It isn’t like you’re tapping on an itty bitty keyboard, if you flip your iPhone to the right the keyboard spaces out a little bit and the keys are easier to hit.

The other thing I need to point out is that an organization that holds itself out as a group agitating for equality really needs a leader with a little more class. Just that first line is clearly evident. What she doesn’t realize though is that I thrive on confrontation like that.

My response to Ms. Heroux:

Well, as the leader of QuARI, you could at least tell me what you’ve done to move equality forward. Instead you insist on ad hominem. Why not send me a copy of the email newsletter? But no, you felt the need to attack.

As to our opponents, I just want to ridicule them. Trying to engage them is the very definition of stupidity.

Nice going smartass.

I know, the last part was just a tad gratuitous but when you’re dealing with people like this you just have to let the derision shine through.

Now get this, just 19 minutes after I’d sent the above email I get this response:

The newsletter isn’t finished yet but should come out this week. When will u publish your accomplishments?

Do you see what I’m getting at here. First she’s all flippant about where I can get the info and then admits it isn’t’ finished yet. And btw, she could have abbreviated ‘your’ with ‘ur’. L8r L0ser.

I responded with this short list of my accomplishments, much more is available but I have a feeling it would be lost on Heroux.:

Getting MERI networked with computers etc.

Getting their entire mailing list districted so now they can reach out to people in a district as well as obtain funding.

Participating at hearings.

Attended rallies.

That’s just the things I’ve done.

So you mention the newsletter as if it is something I can find easily and then come out and say it isn’t finished yet. You could at least give a brief synopsis.

Our email exchange ended when she mentioned that karma was a bitch and I replied mine was a mother fucker. I suppose I’ll catch some flak for posting all this but you know that what lands in my inbox is mine to do with what I please including using it to ridicule alleged supporters of the cause of marriage equality.

Next time think a bit before you hit the fucking send button.

Why legislators are idiots

Well, maybe not all idiots. They’re definitely obstinate.

Case in point, Ohio’s 8th District Representative and House Minority Leader John Boehner.

He stated that he hasn’t yet met an American that supported the public option and the original health care reform proposal put forth by the Democrats.

The really funny part of this is that someone in such a position should know that you don’t make blanket statements that your district doesn’t support a public option when 1,800 plus people in his district have just told him that they do. Mr. Boehner, here’s your ass. Hope you enjoy it.

The video below is interesting though. They talk to one tea bagger at the end who states that his opinion (And hey, I’ve got opinions too though mine tend to be backed with facts.) doesn’t have to be based on facts but instead feelings.

Feelings are an ugly thing. What happened to education in the United States where people can’t divorce their feelings from logical thought?

This plays out even on the local level here in Rhode Island. Many of our legislators (Though fewer each month) are scared to even move on things like marriage equality. This is so odd since it has been demonstrated time and again that they have support in their districts that runs roughly 2:1 in favor of marriage equality.

But we have to drag the legislators forward, and they’ll kick and scream the whole way.

Venom: RI Governor Carcieri attends Glen Beck’s Book Signing

Check out this video. The SUV with the state seals and the number “1” is the governors buggy.

First check out the stupidity of the local constabulary at 1:08. Apparently the cop told them that the sidewalks in front of Providence Place Mall weren’t public sidewalks but mall property. Bullshit! City Ordinance Chapter 23 pretty much covers that.

Then wait until 3:51 when Governor Don “The Asshole” Carcieri shows up. And note the dumb ass look on the Gov’s face around 5:20.

I can’t wait until the asshole is out as governor. Hopefully the door won’t hit him in the ass too easily.

The splintering of gay civil rights groups in RI

This evening I finally figured out what is behind all the splintering of civil rights groups in RI. It goes back to something that the Executive Director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) and I talked about a while back.

I understand that marriage equality is a single issue. It’s marriage equality or nothing as far as I’m concerned and once we achieve marriage equality, MERI goes away.

But I found out this evening that one of the reasons why people who left MERI to form Queer Action Rhode Island (QARI) , Equality Rising, et al broke away from MERI because in part it was a single issue.

I have no problem with MERI being single issue. What I have a problem with is he fracturing of membership that went on because in my opinion these other people like working for causes far too much. This is particularly evident with Mass Equality which still exists even though MA has had marriage equality for nearly six years now.

I fully understand that marriage equality will happen in RI. In either 2010 if I have my way of it, or 2011 when we have all new leadership. But I’ve already expressed my reservations about the endorsement of Rep. Gordon Fox for speaker. Fox is the openly gay house majority leader at the moment. And a piss poor one at that. Granted his opposition consists of two odious people, Rep. Greg Schadone of North Providence and Rep. Stephen Ucci of Cranston/Johnston. All the candidates are Democrats.

I understand (and have had to fight the battles) of the importance of working on a district level as opposed to a city/town level. And I’ve had to help MERI move in that direction.

The thing is, RI already has Employment, Housing and Credit non-discrimination in place for LGB people since 1996, T people since 2001. Marriage equality would to me be the final civil rights piece locally.

Granted we have work to do on the national level to get our legal unions recognized by the federal government. But that is something that none of these splinter groups in RI is capable of pushing forward.

Instead it is my opinion that they have social groups.

And more infuriating, Susan Heroux of QARI penned a piece in on RI Future Blog about how our opposition really aren’t bigots. I call bovine effluvia on that one. The people who oppose equality are bigots. I’m not calling those people names, it’s simply labeling someone for what they truly are.

And we all know one of my favorite bigots, Chris Young. I was so proud of myself when I yelled at him and said “Because you’re a bigot!” at the last marriage equality hearing in RI. It was very cathartic.

I cannot for the life of me understand the appeasement attitude represented in the article, or at least that is the take I get from it. . From that old Frank Sinatra song “My Way”: ” For what is a man, what has he got, if not himself then he has not, to say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels. The record shows, I took the blows and did it my way.”

It is apparent that the leadership of QARI doesn’t subscribe to the philosophy of old blue eyes.

I on the other hand call them as I see them.

And do keep in mind that I do moderate all comments.

And what I have stated here is factual. However, go spreading lies about me and you’ll find out just how nasty I can be.

702 ɹǝqɯnu ʎɐpsǝnʇ uoıʇɐɯɹoɟuı ɥɔnɯ ooʇ: TMI #207

1. What is your underwear “style” of choice?

When required, briefs. But when situations allow, commando!

2. How old were you when you had your first sexual experience?

I was 13 years old. And yes the first time was a homosexual encounter.

3. What about a potential partner turns you on?

Cute face, nice ass on a male of course!

4. Have you ever played a game which may require you or others to disrobe?

Can’t say that I have. Why play games when you can get to the act?

5. Given or received finger scratch marks during sexual activity?

Oh yes. Plenty of time I’ve had physical stigmata evident the next day.

Bonus: How many times is the most you have ever had sex in a 24 hour period?

I think this question was already asked in a different way. My record for ejaculation is 11 times in one day. The first 6 or so were copious. 7 through 11 not so much and after 11 nothing. Yes you can drain it out.