Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trying to get to Shreveport while storm was going on

I left San Antonio late as all planes at Dallas were late, and in fact got on an earlier flight than they had rescheduled me for, so got to Dallas and then naturally could not get to Shreveport as that was the time the tornados and heavy rain was hitting. So after two attempts and cancellations, we had to stay in Dallas over night. And then, again, I got on an earlier flight than I had been rescheduled for, so got here at about 8:30 Friday. I think I'm the only one who hung around, and had asked, so one AA man said, well, here's a lunch voucher, but by that time the main one taking them, MacDonald's was closed, so used it for breakfrast.

I did not know, but walked around to get a little exercise and found, near, B28 gate, a lounge area with 10 chairs, half lounges and half very soft chairs, and so actually slept almost as I do when I go to sleep in my recliner.

Donnie had gone on home Thursday night to Arcadia as we knew the flights would not go, and Friday schools were out, so when I got here he and two older boys came to get me and then we immediately drove by to see the storm damage. We saw the Methodist Church steeple laying near the church. Some people saw this on CNN news who were there taping as we drove by. And then the news said the man whose car it fell on as ok, but you wonder how when you saw the picture of him in the car, squashed. His name was Williams, and wife Judy said he was ok but of course in hospital.

The tornado then skipped over to I-220 and Airline in Bossier and hit tops of condos and at least 20 roofs of house, then left on Brownlee, and I think that was it. But another one had hit Haughton, and top of Patrick’s relative's house. But streets were flooded. My area was ok. But almost everyone lost electricity.

Cats were ok, thanks to neighbor Mrs. Patrick and Donnie. Haven’t heard from Jamie. So I decided to come on to the Broadmoor library and say hi, since I couldn’t at the airport as my laptop does not have the connection to plug in-I just can use it where there is wifi or whatever it is and just plug in electricity. I gather this is telephone thing, I never knew to get it, so I could not connect at the free T-Mobile thing at the airport. And naturally after 15 moinutes of watching CNN it was same thing for rest of time. I saw repeat of Jon Stewart after i got here and he was funny but accurate about how Fox and even CNN make the news and then “report” it, but they never do more than 15 minutes, mostly of same stuff and it is not news.

So things are back to normal. Will waste time watching the talk shows tomorrow and have my usual Sunday eggs, grits and toast and Jelly. I did not lose any weight in San Antonio, as Ron and Afandi kept me eating and Ron and I led Lynn astray to Marie Callendars. Ron and I also drove to Austin to visit Toby Johnson and we drove to Lake Travis and ate at Oasis—of course the view is great.

So it is bright and sunny and probably going to be 70 here, so we are doing ok. Hope everyone else is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What the homosexual community/movement really needs is not a “leader”

Once again we hear voices saying, after the recent March on Washington, that the glbt community/movement needs a leader. This seems to me to indicate a total lack of understanding of how this movement has been so successful in going from a single closeted organization in 1950, and a single LGBT publication in 1952 to the thousands of organizations and hundreds of publications and resources that we have today. The only question we should be asking ourselves is why there are so many glbt people who are unaware of just what this community and movement does have. There is lack of communication among the various elements.

It must be said that anti-gay bigots seem to know more about what is going on in this movement than we do. It is doubtful that many of us have actually thought about all the resources we have. I urge everyone to take a look at Gayellow Pages, the print verison or online version. Each group or publication is so busy trying to do the job it chose to do that they do not know what others are doing. It may be good that today we can have specialized resources, much as medicine now has “specialties,” but we then face the same problem medicine is facing, a lack of general physicians, since everyone wants to specialize and have more influence.

But the reason we have been so wildly successful is that mostly we have all worked for the main purpose of gaining our civil/equal rights. Only in the lat decade have we started specializing in having organizations for each of the areas, thus we have Lambda Legal and National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, et al. (as well as the ACLU) to work on legal issues. We have organizations for religious work, such as Dignity, Affirmation (Methodist and Mormon), Kinship (Sevent Day Adventist), etc. We have an organization working for youth, GLSEN, and there are groups for each profession; medicine, anthropology, law, journlism, etc.

And while most of our LGBT newspapers and magazines try to give coverage to all of our areas and groups, they don’t always seem to do a good job. It seems that many editors and journalists think that we want to know more about the latest celebrity to “come out” than we do about what activities are going on in our community. How often do papers cover our libraries/archives? Do we know fo the glbt book clubs? and the travel articles seem to think we would not want to kow where the local gay center is in major cities, but only wan to know where the closest bar and bathhouse or cafe is. We don’t need a LGBT guide to tell us where a local museum is—general guides do that.

And too often when an issue is in discussion, a “specialized” group says they are not interested in it but only in their little domain—as if a religious organization has no interest in gay bars being attacked by police, or a legal organization has no interest in films that are pro or con.

There are a few efforts to get us informed on coverage of glbt issues. Daily Queer News tries to give us links to what is in the news that we should be aware of. For entertainment news there is Coming Out Support Weekly. And there are others. But if we don't know about these resources they can not help build communication and cooperation within our movement. And thus the hundreds of good leaders working in various organizations, local and national, will not be able to support each other.

Celebrate our diversity. There is no competition among us except to se what we can all do to educate ourselves and the public on the truth about homosexuality. There is no reason to oppose a march or say we must only work on a federal/national level or that we must attack on organization that has chosen to work on only one aspect.

We must practice what we preach. We have to acknowledge that there are really gay Republicans as well as Democrats. That some of us are members of PLAGAL and are pro-life, while many of us are pro-choice. There are those who are allies and work with PFLAG, many of whom have lgbt children. And there is COLAGE, for children who have LGBT parents. There is no reason those who fear the lies of the religions can not work with those who choose to stay in the religious community and try to bring about better understanding and change.

We can be proud, of each generation that has added to our work, from the founders of Mattachine, ONE/HIC and DOB in the 1950s to those at Stonewall, and those who did the various marches and those who join us each day. THOSE WHO MARCHED Sunday will someday be pioneers. We are all pioneers, and we must have done something right, we are slowly but surely changing the world.

Some thoughts on the March, Sunday, seen on C-SPAN and CNN

I should say that I thought the March was good. The Marchers being the best part. Most speakers were good-Julian Bond of course, Cleve Jones, but a few were repetitous and the political ones were out of place (Socialists have done nothing for our community/movement) and the most embarrasing moment was that woman—who chose her?—who couldn't remember the words to the song she was “leading” (America the Beautiful).

I also am constantly amazed that idiots can keep harping on Obama, the first president to try to speak to us, and where were these “experts” on homosexuality all the previous presidential terms. I acknowledge the Clintons, but even they did not go as far as Obama has—perhaps for their time they couldn’t. But I have the right to make the obvious point that our community/movement has made constant progress since 1950, under all presidents. And many court decisions have been made by Republican appointed judges.

We may need reminding that few homosexuals even know their history, and Obama made references that many have never heard—such as the P-FLAG history, and even “leaders” may think they know it all but forget that most people don’t. Few have read a book and most know ony what they’ve seen on TV shows. And even our LGBT media has ignored books on hour history, such as Todd White’s book, Pre-Gay L. A., the last of the three books to cover the first three organizations (ONE/HIC), the others covering Mattachine (Behind the Mask of the Mattachines) and Daughters of Bilitis (Different Daughters), and when will the media book publications get aroudn to us, such as The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and even Lambda Literary Book Report?

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