Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Hear Toronto's Lovely this Time of Year

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Do research on the internet at your own peril. You start out looking for some outrageous news about atrocities against gay people in Iran, for example, and before you know it, you're on reading about Carrie Fisher and how apparently the entire Hollywood community has always known about John Travolta and his fondness for dick. And then you find out from Pink News that Johnny Depp revealed in an interview that several "upper echelon Disney-ites" absolutely hated his character Jack Sparrow in the popular Pirates of the Caribbean movies; one asking if the character was gay. And apparently Sharon Osbourne once defecated on Elton John's driveway after being on the losing end of a love triangle that encompassed Sharon, Elton, and some cute LA boy toy.

Distracting isn't it? Frivolous. But then you stumble on something interesting in that embarrassing mess commonly known as Don't Ask Don't Tell. Which leads you north of the border to an article about how the Canadian government has accommodated their transgender soldiers by allowing them to pick their own uniforms. Yes that's right, pick their uniforms!

But don't take my word for it, just read this excerpt from a recent article in Pink News on the new Canadian military policy on transgender soldiers: "The policy says they should wear the uniform of their 'target' gender but must be given privacy and respect. For example, no reason must be given when a person’s name is changed on military records. The new policy does not allow military honours to be reassigned to new names, saying 'there is no legal authority for rewriting history'. Canada’s military first paid for gender treatment for a member in 1998 and deals with one or two trans troops every year. Cherie MacLeod, executive director of PFLAG Canada, said the change was positive."

Beautifully understated, Cherie.

A couple of weeks ago I sent an email to President Obama berating him, in respectful terms, for his lack of leadership and action regarding DADT. I reminded him that the current policy was causing hardship and much more for LGBT troops who were doing their best to serve their country. I finished by saying that I thought that his inaction on this issue had cast a shadow on his character. At the end of the form there was a box, which I checked, requesting a reply. What I got instead was a series of press releases telling me all the good things that our president was doing in other areas. DADT wasn't even mentioned.

Also, in that email, I related how shortly after Obama's election my gay cousin was complaining about how little Obama was doing for gay people. My reply: "Give him some time, he just got elected." Undeterred, my cousin told me "At least the Republicans don't lie. We know they hate us."
As much as I hate to admit it, he's got a point.

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