Here’s a few stories that have interested me recently, but I haven’t wrote up as individual posts. The items are in no particular order.  (It’s an open thread, so feel free to add some more story links to the thread.)

LAPD enlists feral cats for rat patrol. Okay, how do you not love a story with that headline? Hey, I live near a freeway with a large embankment covered with iceplant — plenty of rodents live there. I’m sure my two cats are keeping my apartment free of rodents. 🙂

Greater Boston PFLAG President: Hillary Clinton Fails Gay Families. Interesting piece on why a local PFLAG president finds Clinton’s statements on teaching about LGBT parents in the classroom to be troublesome. Apparently, Clinton’s view on Heather Has Two Mommies is less progressive than many of us would have expected.

Karen Bachman found this article, noting it in a thread comment: Smith’s Pick Stirs Gay-Rights Controversy. Apparently, the judge who made the Oregon domestic partnership decision on Friday (H/t: Mad Professah) had confirmation difficulties over LGBT issues. Here’s a thought — should LGBT folk be calling this judge a “judicial activist?” The ruling seems to going against the concept of federalism

Inmate Says He Needs Thor’s Hammer, Drum. An inmate is suing the Utah Department of Corrections for denying him his right to practice an ancient Nordic religion while behind bars. Groovy! 😉

The Candidates On Bhutto; Candidates React To Bhutto’s Assassination; 2008 U.S. hopefuls react to Bhutto death. And, a few thousand more articles — and I do really mean a few thousand more articles. The candidates speak, and everyone-and-their-dog-Spot has a take on how Benazir Bhutto’s assassination is going to effect the “horse race” in Iowa and New Hampshire.

[Genital reassignment surgery the same as amputating a leg? ; Who counts in the LGBT community? ; Doc took a cell-phone pic of penis tattoo and shared it – the patient isn’t happy about that ; and more This and That after the break]Club in transgender dispute now caters to gays. “Anderson’s Fifth Estate, which had a 25-year run as a downtown Scottsdale, Arizona nightclub and was most recently known for its ban on transgendered patrons, is now a gay dance club.” The club’s new name is Forbidden — no doubt an allusion to transgender people previously being forbidden from the women’s restroom. 😛

– Paul Decelles picked up on a relatively old story with a piece entitled A desire for amputation? (The story was filed under “Dangerous Ideas.”). The original paper by Anne Lawrence (from 2006) compared the desire for genital reassignment surgery (GRS) to the desire for limb amputation. NARTH’s Christopher H. Rosik had previously reviewed Dr. Lawrence’s paper in their article Clinical And Theoretical Parallels Between Desire For Limb Amputation And Gender Identity Disorder.

The argument of similarity between a desires for GRS and limb amputation comes from the “identity” reasoning — people who want their limb amputation have “amputee” identities, and male-to-female transsexuals have “cross-gender” identities and therefore assumed to want to amputate their male genitalia. The argument against similarity is that transsexuals don’t, for the most part, want genital removal — instead wanting genital reshaping to match their “target sex” — whereas “true identity” amputees want to remove arms or legs without a replacement body part.

– This is from early December, but I’m still thinking about this piece from Chris Crain: Who ‘counts’ in the GLBT community? His final comment is what keeps me thinking about * my * place in the LGBT community:

The more interesting question is much more fundamental, and much more difficult to answer. Just who “counts” when we say “gay” or “GLB” or even “GLBT”? And if we can’t decide who we are, how do we know what “we” want from our movement?

Doc Takes Cell-Phone Pic Of Penis Tattoo. A surgeon faces a disciplinary hearing for snapping a photo of a patient’s tattooed genitals during an operation and showing it around to other doctors. Professionalism at it’s finest, no doubt. 😉

– From Donna Rose’s blog: Thursday, December 27, 2007; 11:00 AM entry. Donna comments on a couple of very different political Op/Ed pieces that have posted recently. One was from Masen Davis (director of the Transgender Law Center), and one was from Vanessa Foster (director of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition). Foster is quoted as writing:

…HRC is in the business of Political Management. It’s not about advocacy or civil rights as much as it is about ‘managing’ the sociopolitical environment to help mold public opinion favorable to the gay and lesbian rights agenda. They have not just a desire or an addiction to control, it’s in their very business description. It’s their job.

Therefore it’s easier to see why they feel need to choose our leaders for us, why they need to tell us what is inclusive language and how is the best way to achieve it, why they need to instruct us on what is politically feasible…

Rose, who previously was a HRC board member, stated in response to Foster’s entire article:

…[Foster’s] views are dead on. Or at least, they might be.

I’m not sure what to think of the HRC possibly seeing itself as my * LGBT Community Mommy * — believing they know what’s best for me and my * sibling * LGBT community members.  In my mind, that any organization may think it knows best for the entire LGBT community — to the exclusion of all other orgainizations — is a pretty disquieting thought.

That’s it!  Discuss away!

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen