Deaths

Marion A. Weger, 61, died at his Dallas residence on March 7.

Born Nov. 28, 1949, Weger was a native of Paradise, Texas, and had lived in the Dallas area for the last 20 years. He co-owned Gratitude Vintage Clothing store with his late partner, Don Dent, for 19 years, and was very proud of the fact that the Oak Lawn shop was named top vintage clothing store in Dallas by Dallas Observer in 2010.

Weger and Dent had been a couple for more than 20 years when Dent died last June. They were both loved and will be deeply missed by family and their many friends.

Services for Weger were held Wednesday, March 16 at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. Memorial donations in his name can be made to that church or to the American Cancer Society.

—  John Wright

Why am I not celebrating more?

Although the swearing in of the first trans trial judge is cause for celebration, there is still a long, hard fight ahead

WREN A. WYNN  |  Special Contributor

We have recently seen America’s first transgender trial judge sworn in. So why am I not celebrating more?

Are you kidding? I read the news to my husband and son, and we all cheered and breathed a sigh of great relief and deep gratitude. This momentous ceremony brought us all one step closer to lawful and societal equality and a much safer pursuit of that very happiness our Constitution grants to us all.

But this is where I — as an American, a woman and the wife of an amazing transgender man — must restrain my celebration. The full celebration will commence the day society’s labels fade away.

Humans always try to define things we do not understand. Our lack of understanding leads to fear. Labels are incessantly cast onto anything we need defined for us.

For instance, say you have two tin cans, both sealed. One is labeled “beans;” the other has no label. Which would you choose?

Unless you have an aversion to legumes, you would probably choose the labeled one. I would — I mean, what if the other can has beets?

We should be electing transgender officials. We should be electing lesbian and gay officials, female officials, African-American officials, Hispanic officials, Jewish and Muslim officials — and so on. Because, quite simply, every one of the members of our global society are human beings.

We are all born inherently equal and all hold the same worthiness as our neighbor. Our labels do not designate our worth or, believe it or not, our contents. Existence is where our worth lies. You are here. I am here. We are amazing.

The full celebration will commence when all marginalized people refuse to be yoked to such a lexicon: marginalized, victimized, worthless, wrong, immoral, dangerous. These are only a very few of the terms used by the media, the Biblical Christian right and those in seats of actual “power” when referring to “them.”

When you are marginalized, the first thing that is stripped from you is your name. It is far easier to be cruel and hateful when you are aggressively pursuing the nameless.

How many of us have found ourselves in such a place — no name, no support, no safety? I was hit in the face in seventh grade by an extraordinarily hefty repeat eighth grader because my being gay offended her. Her name was Amie. I bet you a million dollars she doesn’t remember my name.

We cannot continue to allow our names to be replaced with a vocabulary of invisibility and hate. My name is Wren.

The full celebration will commence when those seated in positions of power and authority stop being so damn afraid that they will be dethroned and overrun. If you are a just and compassionate leader, this is not a concern. So it is no wonder that so many higher-ups are constantly having to towel off their flop-sweat as they stand at their microphones and bullhorns leaking their heartlessness and fear into the world.

This decidedly ridiculous behavior, though, should come as no real surprise. Look at what the leaders worship. All religions at all moments in history, both patriarchal and matriarchal (though to a lesser extent), worship very wrathful and immature gods and goddesses. How many times has a deity cruelly destroyed all of life because another god was getting more attention or because the people weren’t pliant enough or, sometimes, just for the hell of it?

I am all for America. This is proven by the fact that I haven’t run off to Canada or Europe … yet. I truly do believe, very dearly, that America is the home of the brave. Every day I encounter transgender people (my husband included) who are changing the world and saving lives by simply being who they are.

We hear and see and know lesbian, gay and bisexual people who are not willing to let another person die because bullying gay kids and adults is seen as not so big an issue. We have seen the African-American community rise up saying, “We are not second-class citizens.” Everyday the cycle of racism slows.

In recent months, we have witnessed the courageous stance of the Muslim community in New York as they prepare a way for a mosque, even as the Koran is being threatened in Florida. With every passing moment we see and hear men and women standing up for women’s and human rights and equal passage and opportunity in the world.
What amazing and brave people we all are when we stand up for one another!

So God, Goddess, Allah, Abba, Brahman, Waheguru, Yahweh, Jesus, The Light, Almighty, Bahá, Jehova, El Cantare, Oya — all of them — bless America, Mother Earth and all of her beautiful creations. We live in truly amazing times. May we be awake and willing, enthusiastic, even, to stand with one another in our various fires.

This is not a case of “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” This is about celebrating life and Victoria Kolakowski, America’s first sworn-in transgender trial judge. You go girl!

Wren Wynn is a local writer and artist and the author of Chrysalis, a collection of poetry and artworks. She is also a commissioned artist and her paintings have been chosen to hang in the Visual Arts Center of Dallas galleries. Wynn is currently working on a collection of personal essays and a second poetry collection. Go online to Open.Salon.com/blog/wrenaw to read a sample of her work.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 21, 2011.

—  John Wright

Keith Olbermann – My thanks, wonder, gratitude, apology: A Statement to the Viewers of Countdown

Keith will be back on the air tomorrow. He released this statement to viewers.

A STATEMENT TO THE VIEWERS OF COUNTDOWN

by Keith Olbermann

I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support. Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small. I would also like to acknowledge with respect the many commentators and reporters, including those with whom my politics do not overlap, for their support.

I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about – that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC. Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations. Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient ‘mistake’ by their recipients. When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty – support and loyalty that is truly mutual.

–K.O.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

HRC thinks Obama deserves our ‘gratitude’ for how he botched DADT repeal

The Human Rights Campaign, which now is apparently a subsidiary of the Obama campaign, today issued a statement – get this – blasting a lead gay veterans group fighting DADT, and praising President Obama’s great leadership on repealing DADT.

And what did the President do on DADT to earn our community’s “gratitude”?  He let himself get rolled repeatedly by his own Secretary of Defense (yes, Gates and Mullen gave great testimony, then Gates proceeded to undercut repeal every step of the way, and Obama sat there and let him). Obama also sat back while the legislation died in the Senate.  He didn’t make one God damn phone call to even one Senator the day the DADT compromise was filibustered to death.  But that same day our self-proclaimed “fierce advocate” did find time to phone a women’s basketball team. Maybe if more gay and lesbian servicemembers, who are busy risking their lives for our country, took up basketball they could get on the President’s phone card.

Praising what Barack Obama has done on DADT – a promise that is now quite likely dead for years to come because the President refused to do anything until the last minute, refused to stand up to his own Secretary of Defense, refused to personally lift a finger to get even one vote in the Senate.  HRC is “grateful” for this?

Praising Barack Obama for continuing to defend DADT in court, for continuing to undermine our entire legal strategy on not just DADT, but DOMA too. For refusing to stop the discharges of gay and lesbian servicemembers while we’re waiting for the legislation that will never come? That’s what HRC is praising? Seriously? I get that the White House got HRC Valerie Jarrett, at the very last minute, so their dinner wouldn’t be a total bust, but come on – the quid pro quo is praising where we are on DADT when we just freaking lost?

The words irrational, unprofessional, and unproductive come to mind.

Someone needs to remind the Human Rights Campaign exactly who it is they work for. Because somewhere along the way they got it in their heads that their boss is Barack Obama and the Democratic party, not America’s LGBT community.

HRC needs to get its head out of the Democratic party’s ass and start acting like it cares about our civil rights. Because this is bullshit. After everything this White House has done to sabotage our agenda – we aren’t getting DADT, ENDA or DOMA now, and if we lose the House, we may not get it for decades (though, honestly, even if we kept the House we probably wouldn’t see any of those three for years and years to come because Democrats find our civil rights “icky”) – HRC is actually praising where we are, and thanking this incredibly un-fierce President for getting us into this mess in the first place?

Here is HRC’s response to a lead DADT repeal group simply asking that White House adviser Valerie Jarrett meet with gay vets before she speaks at HRC’s dinner:

Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president of communications, issued a strongly worded response on Saturday.

“These latest hijinks by Nicholson are part of a troubling pattern of irrational, unprofessional, and unproductive behavior,” Sainz said. “[Nicholson's] rant is also without substance. The Administration helped to craft the legislation that was successfully voted on by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Never before has a Defense Secretary or a Joint Chiefs chairman publicly supported repeal. This president got them there, and for that, he deserves our gratitude.”

Sainz added that the target of ire “should be Senate Republicans who will no doubt once again try to scuttle this issue during the lame duck session.”

What’s really sad, and really duplicitous, about this statement is that HRC knows the President f’d up. They knew he never had any intention of passing the DADT legislation before the Pentagon completed its study (conveniently after the November elections when it will be too late to pass anything for years to come). HRC knew, and enabled from the beginning, the President’s betrayal of his word to our community. That’s why HRC President Joe Solmonese repeatedly told the community to stop complaining about DADT – the President has a plan, Joe told us, DADT will be repealed this year, Joe claimed. No he didn’t, and no it won’t. And HRC knew it all along.

Joe and HRC knew that our community was being played by this President and they didn’t just cover it up, they helped it happen. That’s why HRC feels the need to praise what Obama didn’t do on DADT. If they told you the truth, that they aided and abetted one of the biggest legislative disasters in the history of our movement – imagine, we got nothing, no DADT, no DOMA, no ENDA, with a new and wildly popular president, super-majorities in the House and Senate, a GOP opposition in ruins, and DADT repeal at 70% in the polls – no one would give them another dime.

PS I wonder if HRC thinks the President also deserves our gratitude for refusing to stop the discharges?




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright