Hardy Haberman Flagging Left
On New Year’s Eve, I sent out a “tweet” wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a “none too fond goodbye to 2011.” It only took a few moments before I was reminded that 2011 had not even started.
So, in the spirit of the strange time warp I somehow fell into, here is my “look back” on 2011.
It was quite a year, especially in LGBT politics. Even though the U.S. House of Representatives was dominated by Republicans, Congress still managed to move a modified version of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) through. And after a few changes in the Senate, it was signed into law by the president.
The main provisions concerned religious organizations, and they were allowed to continue to be as bigoted as they want without government interference.
Meanwhile on the local scene, at least three openly gay candidates announced plans to run for judicial and city council positions. Most notable was activist and radio personality Jesse Garcia, who announced his run for mayor.
Nationally, the field of candidates for the 2012 presidential race narrowed when Sarah Palin announced she was ending her political career to focus on yet another reality TV show, “Real Housewives of Wasilla.”
Her daughter, Bristol, will headline her own dance review in Las Vegas next year at the new trailer park-themed hotel opening on the famous strip.
No word yet as to whether Levi Johnston will co-star.
Additionally this year, in a bold move, the LGBT conservative group GOProud changed their name to GOAway following yet another rejection by the Republican Party national convention as well as the Conservative Political Action Conference, which barred the group from attending its functions. A spokesperson for the group called the move, “a more rational way of stating the real agenda of the Republican Party while maintaining our group’s identity as supporting conservative values.”
In other LGBT news, another dozen homophobic evangelical pastors have been added to the growing list of “outed clergy.” It has been a bad year for closeted clergy since the escort web site “RightWingRentBoys.com” had their records released through WikiLeaks.
On the West Coast, since Prop 8 was overturned by the high court, LGBT couples are flocking to romantic wedding chapels in the Golden State. The boom in business has started a whole new honeymoon destination travel trend, as gay-themed resorts are cashing in on the influx of business.
The “Beary Marry Honeymoon” package from one Russian River resort offers a woodland wedding with party-sized “Bear Soup” hot tubs.
Though our state naturally lags behind, the Texas Legislature did manage to pass a civil union law awarding same-sex couples most of the rights of married couples.
Though the governor’s office denies any influence in the matter, most people assume the passage was a result of behind-the-scene bargaining and perhaps downright blackmail in a matter of a male escort who has yet to be named.
In tech news, the announcement late in the year of a public offering for Grindr has the stock market salivating. Many experts expect the smart phone app will exceed Facebook in revenues in the coming IPO.
The company got an extra boost after the heterosexual version was released last fall.
The publishing industry was rocked this year by the closure of the Dallas Morning News. Most media experts believe the publication’s ultra-conservative editorial policy and resistance to change was instrumental in the venerable institution’s demise.
Though it leaves Dallas without a major newspaper, niche publications like the Dallas Voice and Dallas Observer have seen circulation grow in both their online and print editions.
So as I bid a fond farewell to 2011, I just want to thank everyone who has written in complimenting me on my insightful and enjoyable columns over the past year.
Ok, well so much for fantasy! Now, I wonder if anyone will save this and see how close I came with my predictions?
Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. His blog is at http://dungeondiary.blogspot.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 7, 2011.