Council member Jones to be first cisgender reader at Houston Day of Remembrance

Jolanda Jones

Jolanda Jones

Houston City Council member Jolanda Jones is scheduled to be the first cisgender reader in the history of Houston’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Lou Weaver, president of the Transgender Foundation of America, one the events sponsors, says that Jones was originally approached to be a speaker at the event because of her advocacy for trans children, but that she requested to read instead.

“I begged to read, I begged them,” corrects Jones, “they asked me if I wanted to speak and I begged them to read instead because it’s profound and it touches you. I think it’s better to read because it’s important.”
Jones said she was particularly moved at last year’s Day of Remembrance by the story of 17 month old Roy A. Jones who was beaten to death by his babysitter for “acting like a girl.” “I was so touched when they read about the baby that was killed,” said Jones, “the readers tell the story.”

Jones led efforts this year to encourage local homeless youth provider Covenant House to adopt a nondiscrimination policy that covers both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. She used her position on City Council to threaten to cut Covenant House’s funding unless they addressed accusations of discrimination. That threat persuaded the organization to overhaul their policies and begin regular meetings with community leaders to discuss their progress in serving LGBT youth.
The Houston Transgender Day of Remembrance is Saturday, November 19, from 7-9:30 pm at Farish Hall on the University of Houston Campus.

—  admin

Broken Mould

Queer punk pioneer Bob Mould turned an abusive childhood into a musical movement, but memoir targets hardcore fans

2.5 out of 5 stars
SEE A LITTLE LIGHT: THE TRAIL OF RAGE AND MELODY
By Bob Mould (with Michael
Azerrad). 2001 (Little, Brown)
$25; 404 pp.

………………………….
It all starts with “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” It continues with the itsy-bitsy spider, the ABCs and being a little teapot. From there, you embrace whatever your older siblings are listening to until you develop your own musical tastes. Maybe you started with records, moved on to the cassette tapes, CD and now, your iPod is full.

The point is, you’ve never been without your tunes.

But what about the people who make the music you love?

When Mould was born in 1960 in the northernmost end of New York, he entered a family wracked with grief: Just before he was born, Mould’s elder brother died of kidney cancer. He surmises that the timing of his birth resulted in his being a “golden child,” the family peacekeeper who sidestepped his father’s physical and psychological abuse.

“As a child,” he writes, “music was my escape.”

Mould’s father, surprisingly indulgent, bought his son guitars and young Bob taught himself to play chords and create songs. By the time he entered high school, Mould knew that he had to get out of New York and away from his family. He also knew he was gay, which would be a problem in his small hometown.

He applied for and entered college in Minnesota, where he started taking serious guitar lessons and drinking heavily. His frustrations led him to launch a punk rock band that made a notable impact on American indie music.

Named after a children’s game, Hüsker Dü performed nationally and internationally, but Mould muses that perhaps youth was against them. He seemed to have a love-hate relationship with his bandmates, and though he had become the band’s leader, there were resentments and accusations until the band finally split.

HUSKER DON’T | Bob Mould turned his youthful rage and homosexuality into a music career. (Photo by Noah Kalina)

But there were other bands and there were other loves than music, as Mould grew and learned to channel the rage inside him and the anger that volcanoed from it.

“I spent two years rebuilding and reinventing myself,” writes Mould. “Now that I’ve integrated who I am and what I do, I finally feel whole.”

If you remember with fondness the ‘80s, with its angry lyrics and mosh pits, then you’ll love this book. For most readers, though, See a Little Light is going to be a struggle. Mould spends a lot of time on a litany of clubs, recording studios, and locales he played some 30 years ago — which is fine if you were a fellow musician or a rabid, hardcore fan. This part of the book goes on… and on… and on, relentlessness and relatively esoteric in nature.

Admittedly, Mould shines when writing about his personal life but even so, he’s strangely dismissive and abrupt with former loves, bandmates, and even family. I enjoyed the occasional private tale; unfortunately there were not enough.

Overall, See a Little Light is great for Mould fanboys and those were heavy into the punk scene. For most readers, though, this book is way out of tune.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

WATCH: Uncle says murdered teen wasn’t gay

Joshua Wilkerson’s uncle tells KHOU that the murdered 18-year-old from Pearland wasn’t gay. (The story doesn’t start until about halfway through the above video.)

Hermilo Vildo Moralez, 19, who is accused of beating Wilkerson to death with a wooden rod before burning his body, told authorities that Wilkerson made sexual advances toward him.

“Everything you hear, don’t judge a book by its cover,” said Wilkerson’s Uncle John Crochet. “This guy is not human, so don’t believe what he’s saying. …

“There had been some accusations by this animal that some sexual advances were made. We have no reason to believe that would have ever happened. The bottom line is whatever happened, he didn’t deserve to die,” said Crochet.

KHOU also reports that police believe Moralez may not have acted alone. Someone apparently set up a bogus Facebook page for Wilkerson while Moralez was already in custody saying Wilkerson was gay, hated negroes and was a fan of Justin Bieber.

—  John Wright

Gibbs defends the President as ‘mainstream Christian’ after Glenn Beck accusations

Haven’t we been down this incredible path before? Why does it matter what Glenn Beck (or any one in the right-wing noise machine) says about the President’s faith or lack thereof? This is playing right into the hands of the fundies…again.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says President Barack Obama is a “committed, mainstream Christian” – contrary to the claims of Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck.

Beck recently claimed that Obama practices a version of Christianity that is not recognized by most people. Beck says this “liberation theology” is all about “oppressors” and “victims.”

And here’s the direct exchange from the White House Press Office transcript of today’s briefing.

Q    Robert, for the last four days, Glenn Beck has criticized the President for believing in liberation theology, which he calls a Marxist form of Christianity.  I’ve got two questions.  One, does the President, to your knowledge, even know what liberation theology is?

MR. GIBBS:  I don’t know the answer to that.  I will say this, Bill, a crude paraphrasing of an old quote, and that is people are entitled to their own opinion, as ill-informed as it may be, but they’re not entitled to their own facts.  The President is a committed mainstream Christian.  I don’t — I have no evidence that would guide me as to what Glenn Beck would have any genuine knowledge as to what the President does or does not believe.

Q    When is he going back to church?

Q    So this Marxist form of Christianity –

MR. GIBBS:  Again, I can only imagine where Mr. Beck conjured that from.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright