Thursday, June 4, 2015

We never were Mayberry


     Had you asked me, even a few years ago, whether transgender Americans would be able to scoot through the door of acceptability that had been pried open by gay and lesbians, I'd have replied, 'Probably not.'
     It was asking too much, too broad of a stretch for the only recently limbered muscle of tolerance for Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sixpack. They feel the need to loathe somebody, and with gays and lesbians suddenly freed from the penalty box and making themselves comfortable on the home team bench, then an even tinier minority, whose lifestyle is even more unfamiliar, the men becoming women, women becoming men, would have to be pressed into service as the Despised Other.
     If anything, I'd have guessed their lot would become even worse, as they moved from near-complete obscurity to drawing the attention of a public already being forced to tolerate more than is their habit.
     But it happened; it is happening, right now.
     There is Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Olympic champion Bruce Jenner, that icon of manliness, on the cover of Vanity Fair, in an Annie Leibowitz fashion shot, now the woman she has long considered herself to be. And the reaction is ... a kind of awe. Acknowledgement of the courage to make that leap, to be true to your inner self, wherever that self leads you. To accept the consequences. It was a trust drop into society's arms and, amazingly, society caught her.
     "Fans and family alike came out in droves to support her transition," noted People magazine, in an item castigating former child star Drake Bell for tweeting "Sorry ... still calling you Bruce."
     How did this happen?
     The explanation, I believe, is this: the progress of gays and lesbians is usually seen in terms of what the change did for them—allowed them, first, to keep their jobs, then to see their relationships respected, first in the marriage columns of newspapers and then by law and, it seems someday soon, even in bakeries in Kansas.
     But what did this dramatic adjustment do, not just for gays, but for the society making the change? I would suggest that it drew attention to the tragic and pointless oppression of certain people for being who they are. That lives were constrained and destroyed trying to maintain a template of uniformity that isn't found in nature. We were never Mayberry. We were never all like the Cleavers, and those who strayed from the Ward and June Cleaver ideal actually have the right to live their lives, too.
     It helps that transgendered people were often manifesting themselves as very young children, and society is faced with the choice of repressing and abusing these little kids because of who they feel themselves to be—society's answer up to now—or letting those kids be the people they are determined to become.
     It's astounding progress. Who knew, when we were telling kids to go for their dreams, that we'd really mean it? People are always saying there is no good news, but this is good news. It's as if combatants fighting a long, bloody, pointless war suddenly looked at each other, saw their shared humanity, and just stopped fighting.

119 comments:

  1. I knew a he who became a she. Some people were nasty, but he found out who her true friends were, Believe most people have forgotten and she is now doing well. I say good for people who want to be who they are.

    Being off-line in small town Tuscany for two weeks I will have a lot of Goddamn Days to catch up on. But there is still more of Firenze to experience before I leave. Must be off for another look at the Medici Chaple. For those who can't afford to come, many of the sights will be available on film, as a film company has taken over the town to film Dan Brown's "Inferno." It's fairly ridiculous as a novel, but a good intro to the wonders of the Renaasance.

    Tom Evans

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    1. Enjoy your trip, Signiore! Speriamo che stai bene.

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    2. Nice of you to take time to post, Mr. Evans.

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    3. Ah, Firenze Tom, the land of art. South Italy the land of peasants and those are mostly the ones who had to emigrate here for a better life so many years ago.

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    4. Indeed, the wicked Medici family.

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    5. Northern Italy has all the good stuff, T.E.

      They even have a cultural bias against so. Italy as we do with south here but both northern places are right, it seems to me.

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  2. I don't care what he/she does. But I do find it a bit hypocritical to present herself on the cover of a national magazine in an obviously touched-up photograph taken by a world class photographer.

    "True to her inner self" in that picture? Really?

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    1. What pictures of that nature aren't touched up?

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    2. good point, Tom

      and I saw a snippet in the SunTimes today that he's going to make a bundle in endorsements and appearances, so much for high minded thought

      No one was interested in him much as just Kris' husband.

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    3. himself, not herself

      It's not nice to try to fool mother nature, as the old margarine commercial used to say.

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    4. as they say live and let live, as long as not affecting oneself or family

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    5. Mother Nature can be kind of a vindictive bitch, though, can't she? No one protests going against nature when it comes to cochlear implants, curing cancer, repairing cleft palates, or bypass surgery. Isn't thwarting nature kind of the history of civilization?

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    6. ah those are urgent medical needs, surely you aren't putting that on the same level

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    7. No, I'm not, although feeling every day that one is in the wrong body must feel pretty urgent to the sufferer. Just pointing out the inconsistency of the "nature" argument.

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  3. Robbie the RobotJune 4, 2015 at 6:44 AM

    good column. about time for such acceptance

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    1. haven't seen you in a while

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    2. Robbie are you a transgender robot? wink

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  4. You're getting a little ahead of yourself, but as a society at least we're on the way to acceptance. So 2015 that it took a reality show cartoon character to nudge us along. Someday there will even be total inclusion for non Christian faiths in America. Remember, there were no Jews in Mayberry.

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    1. Jews would know better than to go live in a dead end town, like a Mayberry type. I'd be even more concerned with how blacks would be treated at the time in such towns of a similar nature.

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  5. Nothing at all against Caitlyn Jenner, but I always have a special appreciation for the people in civil rights movements who were fighting during the darkest (or darker) hours. Bob Susnjara wrote a story when he was at the Waukegan News-Sun (Geezers like me remember when Waukegan had a daily paper) about a Buffalo Grover transgender woman who came out in 1997 (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CGipzP-UIAE4O3P.jpg:large) The same year Evanston added transgender people to their human rights ordinance and Chicago would do the same a few years later. As the late Cardinal O'Connor would say, the law is a teacher.

    So what are the causes today that seem kooky but years from now people will look back on and shake their heads? I keep expecting the third world conditions at some Native American reservations to spark outrage among the progressivescenti, but it hasn't yet. Others?

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    1. ANA, I'm sure you aren't that much of a geezer, as you say.

      Anyway, not to say the Native Americans always in the wrong, but I've read articles about their slap on the wrist type, separate justice system that is soft on rapes and wife beating. Or some didn't want to go to "white man" universities. They need to work on a few things too. Not sure I agree with a separate court system. We know separate isn't equal or fair.

      And while its true they were mistreated, I try to remember that we couldn't expect our nation to just stop at the 13 colonies or not develop railroads, farmland, mining. They did some cruel things to the pioneers too. When some say they were here first, perhaps but they also came from Asia at one point and migrated to No. America as well. Some of their manhood rituals were cruel too. Their treatment of females wasn't high on the list either.

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    2. Now we know why Anon Not was getting up so super early. Seniors usually do. From the way you wrote Anon, I judged you to be a 40 something.

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    3. I realize there are lots of complexities and the history isn't as "evil Europeans vs. good Natives" as it's often portrayed, but I think it's fair to say the number of broken treaties and mistreatment tilts heavily against the U.S. (federal and local governments). And it's continued to today - look at the "Indian Trust" litigation, where *after* we created the reservations we said "we're taking over the mineral and oil rights to your land, but we'll keep it in trust for you," then basically didn't keep or lost all the records, then relied on that ambiguity to argue they should only get pennies on the dollar (the government lawyers in the case also got caught in lies and misrepresentations). So I view it as a historical debt that is owed and we can't get out of it by pointing to whatever legitimate greivences there are with the things you mention, but no question it deserves a fuller discussion. And that starts with attention.

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    4. I don't care for their extra rights in casino building either. Nor do I think that Andrew Jackson is a one dimensional bad Pres. for moving the Cherokees. We can't judge those folks by 2lst century standards. Same on the early explorers who were making good discoveries. Exactly, too many put the Native on a pedestal but I see what you are saying. No more than we could say Washington was pure evil cause he had slaves, bad as that may be. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. I taught my former students not just to jump into revisionism.

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    5. oops, meant lets not let's

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    6. ANA- Natives must get better leaders or ways to publicize these manners. And not in early 1970's style as that one incident. They could learn from African-Americans on how to do this.

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    7. matters not manners

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    8. Are you part Native Amer, ANA, if I may ask?

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    9. Anon 10:54 - I'm no - no vested interest.

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    10. I mean "I'm not"...

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  6. Yes, somehow this doesn't compare for the racial Civil Rights movement, or Jews being persecuted.

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    1. Maybe next we can have rights for those who want to marry their siblings, be cannibals or marry dogs or cadavers.

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    2. And why not allow polygamy too and not just for fundamentalists Mormons hiding out or skirting the law.

      Isn't there some man love group that likes young boys? why not end protection of minors as well

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    3. Assuming it's a sincere question -- it's not, but let's pretend -- because children are damaged by having sex with adults. It's not something they enter into voluntarily. Ditto for the typical polygamous situation. Do you think Jenner was coerced to become a woman? The statement is the half-thought process of someone desperate to justify bigotries. Why bother. Just say transgender people creep you out and you hate them. At least you'd be candid. Of course that takes courage, and haters are invariably cowards too.

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    4. I don't hate them, Sir. I hate terrorists,mobsters, killers, rapists, child molestors, Nazi's, KKK members and such. And polygamist Mormon hubs like the Jeff types.

      He wasn't coerced but I think some of it is for attention and $, not all.

      I don't understand them but don't fear them. Do they seem a bit creepy? perhaps

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    5. Yes, NS, you have a point about children not being voluntary.

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    6. It would be interesting to see statistics on sexual child abuse to see how much of a percentage of it is hetero and how much homosexual. Not that it's okay either way.

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    7. Yes, I'm this feisty in real life too, not just on safe blogs. No shrinking violet here.

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    8. I do detest some Repubs though.

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  7. Neil, what is your point with that photo then? Is that a man in Belle's costume? Where's his Adam's apply then? Few get that removed. Hope it wasn't a man, I sat my, at the time, young daughter in the mid 1990's on, for Cinderella's lap photo at Magic Kingdom.

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    1. For some reason women dressed like men don't seem as offputting as men dressed like women.

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    2. Women are generally nicer to look at, no matter how they're dressed.;)

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    3. oh, I get it

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  8. My spouse, who is an HR manager, had a transvestite coming into his office for a position to be hired out. (drafting) He was hired but my spouse was taken aback.

    Are all of you, NS included, saying you'd never have any such feeling?

    What a waste of psychiatrists' time for these mixed up sorts to go harping to in their offices. Let's save their time for schizo's, the suicidals,bipolars or those who want to kill someone or thinks that Satan is talking to them from behind a wall.

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    1. Yes, how outrageous that a "mixed up" person would seek help from a mental health professional.

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  9. One can be puzzled without hating.

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    1. That's very true. And one expresses puzzlement by saying, for example, "I don't understand," and then being open to information. Not by being critical and skeptical of the unknown situation or person, or by getting angry about it. (I am not directing this at you, specifically, BTW; I have no way of telling one Anonymous from another.)

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  10. okay, Saint Coey

    we can be open to info about polygamy too and maybe join up

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    1. There's actually quite a bit of knowledge out there about polygamy, given that it has been going on so long and is widespread in some areas to this day. Indications are that, even when entered into willingly, it does more harm than good. But if there are several people out there who want to marry you, you must be doing something right.

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    2. Are you open to info about how "what about polygamy" as a response to homosexuality, transsexualism, and any other sexual orientation you happen not to like, is obnoxious, puerile and offensive?

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    3. I'm open to the fact that you are bitter and critical too. If you are in one of the categories that you mentioned above, then I say sorry. But don't be mean to the polygamists.

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    4. I'm not "mean to the polygamists." I'm mean to jerks who use polygamy in disingenuous arguments against whatever sexual orientation repulses them.

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    5. They don't realize how self-revealing their being. If I say, "What's next, marrying a dog" as somebody above did, I'm kind of revealing my opinion of the group we're discussing, aren't we. People are so enamored of their biases, they just can't wrench their heads to the side, away from the mirror, and perceive what is at issue.

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    6. There are others who agree with me here, most likely but they are afraid of being jumped and judged.

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  11. I don't know why I'm bothering with this topic, as I've done my best to ignore it, and I'm gonna make myself look bad. But, as is often the case, I can't help myself. Heck, half the anonymice on EGD will tell you that I'm O/C! ; )

    To me this is another classic case of intellect vs. emotion. I can't deny that I feel like this whole thing with Jenner is creepy. I won't deny that I don't want to see the photos in Vanity Fair and haven't, beyond the cover shot that one can't avoid seeing no matter what website one has happened to visit in the last few days. [Sheesh, I've never understood the appeal of drag shows, either, for that matter. It's all I can do to enjoy "Some Like It Hot". ; )] I also agree with those who question the level of publicity that Jenner has courted, because I hadn't given him any thought since he won the decathlon in 1976. The fact that this publicity is essentially wrapped up with the Kardashians, who I've also studiously avoided knowing anything about, makes it all the more annoying to me.

    So, that's how I feel -- the way that the world that I was raised in largely prepared me to feel. BUT, I try to be a reasonable guy. As such, I don't doubt that there are folks who have these legitimate issues with their gender. And them expressing themselves as who they believe they are is much more significant for them than it is for me or people who'd rather not be confronted with their issue. So, intellectually, I know I have to grudgingly get with the program. Unlike the situation with gay people, I've never known a transgender person, which may be part of the problem with acceptance. I have a number of gay friends, some of whom I'd known long before they "came out", so I knew that they were really no "creepier" than I'd ever thought they were. I don't practically have that experience in this situation, but one can realize that it would be the same dynamic. And as for the publicity -- I realize that Jenner IS a public person, whether I've paid any attention, or not. Of course, this is going to be a huge media story -- men's decathlon winner ("the greatest all-around athlete in the world") becomes a woman? Uh, whatever else that is, it's news. So, I'm trying to assure that my thinking overrules my gut feelings about all this. How am I doing? ; ) But I can certainly understand where those who are having a problem with it are coming from, whether they're on the "wrong side of history" or not.

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    1. Jakash: I actually feel much the way you do. For a long time, transsexualism was at the outer limits of what I could take seriously.

      What's bringing me around is, not only the Caitlyn Jenner story, but the reactions to it, and to transsexualism in general. Almost without exception, people who scorn transsexuals are individuals whom I find to be repellent themselves, and with whom I would never, ever want to be associated. None of today's comments are dissuading me from that opinion.

      One more thing: When you say "I've never known a transgender person," you should perhaps add the qualifier, "that I know of."

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    2. Jackash interesting to know you are an English teacher, since that day you said I got one out of 3 right.

      ANA-yesterday that wasn't a lie, some of that was in dialect.

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    3. Jakash, I'm still waiting for you to reply if you speak some Italian.

      Any other Ital-Amer here? I think there was one more.

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    4. I think I'm the same way - as long as I'm tolerant I'm less concerned about my personal heebie-jeebies (one day we'll know if those are natural reactions or something conditioned or some mixture of both). Similarly, I'm more concerned with the legal protections to let people live full and normal lives than people's attitudes. I also think you're right that knowing someone personally has a big effect on your attitudes. Ralph Ellison made a similar observation about the importance of jazz music to the civil rights movement: for many whites who had little or no contact with black people, it helped make them less of an abstraction and formed a kind of virtual connection.

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    5. Oy, what hath Neil wrought with the extra threads?

      2:05 Anon: When I said that you got 1 out of 3 guesses right on that other thread, the "1" was your saying "...perhaps I wasn't clear", not surmising that I was an English teacher. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

      FWIW, no I don't speak Italian. If you're the one who's employed the Italian profanity, I was able to figure out from the web that you essentially called me a dick, among other things. Now, if you're the same person who said I was "quite the detective" yesterday, maybe I had misinterpreted your earlier meaning. ; )

      Thus ends another episode of "As the Blog Turns", not at all what the Producer had in mind when he created EGD, for sure. Apologies, NS and everybody else!

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    6. lol, As the blog turns,good one and now you are showing your age a bit

      Yes, Neil must have nerves of steel.

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  12. Bruce Jenner is a 65 year old GRANDFATHER. Those deeply disturbing photographs of an obviously mentally disturbed person do indeed reveal something about our nation, we have a media class that puts North Korea to shame. They're honestly asking us to applaud a man who from what I've been told about the operation, will have his pens surgically split in half and take dangerous amounts of hormones that in the end will leave him a badly disfigured MAN. Believe me the Joe six packs believe this is foul disgusting behavior. The controlled press can pretend all it wants but what Bruce is doing is a depraved act.

    Jack

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    1. here here, Jack- he is mentally disturbed- sometimes I feel like one of about 3 lone voices on here holding to reason

      now the kardashians will be yesterdays news

      that awful TLC channel might give him a contract

      I just came back from a local Target store where they allow this transvest. to walk around in white rice face makeup, like he's in the Kabuki Japanese theater

      I go to another register when I see him or I'll have nightmares that night

      where does one draw the line with all this?

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    2. Jack: Thank you for reinforcing the second paragraph of my 1:33 post.

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    3. Bitter, so you admit then in the other post, that these people need prof. help as much as anyone, in your post where you replied about my saying they don't need the help as much. That's how it reads to me at least.

      Are you always this crabby? I didn't think you were old and crabby

      see there's others who get mad on her but they have a light side too

      you are always dark,except for the nice post where you said you liked Chin dogs

      and you had a stepdaughter, it put a more human spin on you

      Ana, in some other post yesterday, you complimented Sandy and coey for being as wise-don't be patronizing , you know they aren't as wise as you and Jak.

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    4. meant here up there not her

      we should all know each other a bit better perhaps and tell a bit about ourself on here without giving too much away

      after all, our host shares a lot of that info

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    5. I'm responding to people who are judging someone else as mentally disturbed and saying we're living in North Korea because not everyone condemns her. And I'm the crabby one. I see.

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    6. "we should all know each other a bit better perhaps and tell a bit about ourself on here..." Even I, as much of a blabbermouth as anybody participating here, don't agree with that, and I hardly think that NS wants this to trend ever more toward being a "club", rather than simply an accessible repository of his prolific writing.

      Gotta say, though, that's a rather curious suggestion, coming from somebody who refuses to even pick a freaking pen-name! : )

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    7. didn't say had to condemn

      and he's a him, Far as I read, he didn't get the full sweep, ahem, operation

      no need to get on high horse, scribe

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    8. So true about the pc press, Jack, though I don't like Fox news either. Yes, why would anyone in their right mind do that? Most gay men sure don't.

      BS, I never said we lived in N. Korea.

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  13. Thanks for your candor, Jakash. Even as a moderate democrat though I fell like the extreme left wants to muzzle me if I don't clap my hands and say hurray to all this BRUCE Jenner bull.

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  14. Mr. S- Is it possible to turn off the capthca controls? They are a pill and I doubt anyrobotic hacker will be posting here 100 x in a row.

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    1. No, it's already open to its most permissive level -- the only thing I could do is moderate it more, or require people to sign in first. I don't think that's necessary.

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    2. NS-Did you ever have to cover the Pride parade for the ST?

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  15. I doubt I'll see Ms. Mitchell, L. Washington and John Fountain saying poor thing, to the so called discrimination against these types who need counseling or some hormone fix. The names mentioned and their forebearers would know what real discrimination is.

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    1. Bet Jesse isn't feeling too sorry for Bruce.

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  16. Notice that's not that many females wanting to become males or cutting off their breasts, whatever. They may just dress in butch fashion.

    It's mostly the guys that turn nuttier on this issue.

    Does Bruce know that the estrogen he probably has to take will raise up his cancer chances?

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    1. And why does NS or BS feel that one has to love the transgender bunch or we are evil?

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    2. "Love" is your term. I'm just not in the business with fucking with people's internal life. If you think that, oh, your Lord God manifests Himself in a wafer, it would be vile to argue that with you. MY opinions on the subject are not germane. That's called humility. Jenner obviously feels strongly about this, so much so that he'd put himself in this traditionally ridiculed position, to be true to himself. You can hoot him down all you like -- it's a free country. I find that cruel, and am amazed that others agree with me. Is this really that confusing to you?

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    3. Again, jumping to the assumption that I'm religious. You probably wish I was, then you could blame that part of it.

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    4. I'm not alone in my thoughts. I didn't know I was confused if I didn't agree with Bruce. Maybe I am.

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    5. As long as not rude to his face, it's not cruel. It's a diff. opinion, not hooting cruelty.

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    6. Perhaps we could examine your hatred for Christians, specifically Catholics, Mr. S.

      Well folks, check out Snoop Dogg's comments under the Zwecker column in the paper today. He said that no one was paying attention in the media for this new project that brings electricity to Africa with solar power, because they were busy with the "science project" that is Jenner. Never thought I'd be agreeing with a rapper.

      Remember it's about tradition sometime, not just religion. TRADITION, as Tevye shouted. Though trad. is wrong at times too especially when its against women.

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  17. And to Sandy or Coey. Funny you critique some for being critical but okay if B.S. does it. His initials fit him perfectly.

    B.Scribe, does the word "beard" mean anything to you?

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    1. I'm OK with well-considered criticism of ideas or actions, based on solid facts and reasoning. Not so much with name-calling and personal insults, in whatever language one chooses.

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    2. hold on, I'm going to find you a halo

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    3. Exactly, stuff like that.

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    4. I didn't know that was an insult.

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    5. Not at all; it's an example of the thoughtful reasoning I prefer. Buona sera.

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    6. very nice and buona sera to you too, signiora or is it signiorina?

      the g when in front of an n sounds like nya

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    7. I think Mr. S said he went to Rome once. He must have picked up a few words.

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  18. Are you talking to me?????!!!!!! better not be

    Joe P.

    Anyway, I stand corrected. I just realized I've been a bit insensitive since there's more lesbians, gays and transvestites / transsexuals or people living with beards here then I thought. do parden my faux pas

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    1. That's putting it mildly.
      Barry 7:01 -- true, no Jews in Mayberry, though its creator/exec producer Sheldon Leonard was one.
      Anon 10:48- just why can't we judge them by 21st century standards? Do you actually think Jackson didn't know he was murdering the natives and stealing their land?
      Neil 9:11-- why do you think the typical polygamous situation was coercive? Do you honestly believe all or even just most of those Mormon wives were slaves?

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    2. Slaves? Techically, no. Given the choice of a monogamous marriage, or, in many cases, even the choice of husband? Also no.

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    3. coey, yes it was almost like a form of slavery

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  20. Rich, At that time, Jackson was concerned with Nationalism, as were some explorers. Sure he knew but at that time it was thought removal was the good thing. He didn't open fire on them like in a genocide massacre.

    Yes, true about Sheldon.

    Yes, I believe most of those wives were brainwashed or afraid, especially in latter day polygamous situation. Read about the Jeffs mess, especially.

    Please take time to visit the gay rights parade that is mentioned in today's ST.

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    1. Have you read Under The Banner Of Heaven? Fascinating, but chilling.

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    2. No, what is the synopsis if you please?

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    3. It's by the author of Into Thin Air, Jon Krakeuer. It's a true story about a fundamentalist Mormon community and its leaders. Gives a lot of historical context.

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    4. The Mormons used to play victim saying their original leader , Joseph, was killed. Actually, he was messing water rights to the local farmers. People in the mid 1800's weren't going to deal with polygamy and rightfully so. The farmers in Nauvoo taught a lesson. Now some modern day Mormons are moving away from worshipping him and his made up books. Some modern day Mormons are greedy Republican businessmen who encroach into all businesses. No way would I move to Utah even if those are the more mainstream kind. If some of those latter day saints come knocking on my door some days, they are often sorry they did.

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    5. Coey: Not to be a pendant, but the title of the Krakauer book you're referring to is "Under the Banner of Heaven." He also wrote "Into Thin Air," but that was about something else entirely.

      Anonymous: Joseph Smith was indeed killed by a lynch mob.

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    6. Oh wait a minute, I totally got mixed up between your two comments. Never mind, Coey. Sorry.

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    7. No worries. If I had gotten it wrong, I'd want it corrected. It was such an excellent book, I'd hate to steer anyone in the wrong direction.

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  21. Neil, who do you dislike most, ANA when he nitpicks or the not loving gays persons?

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  22. I don't think early days Disney would allow a trans. to pose as a lady story figure. He must be rolling...

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  23. Coey, check the reply on mother nature up there, incase you don't scroll back to see it.

    On another note, I have a feeling Mr. S., doesn't get a lot of black readers.

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  24. For me, transgender should be easier to accept than homosexuality. This is about personal identification at the core. And in both cases it's about accepting personal choice over societal "norms". There is no "normal" and the sooner we accept this, the better off we'll all be.

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  25. Caitlin Jenner will never experience the realities of life as a woman or as a trans person, because Jenner is insulated by extreme privilege. While women make 78 cents for a dollar earned by a man, Jenner's speaking fees are likely to quadruple as a result of his gender-reassignment. Jenner supports a political party which promotes a platform openly hostile to LGBT people. Again, the insulation of privilege will ensure that Jenner will never experience the negative consequences of that party's actions. Working-class, middle-class and poor LGBT people will not be so fortunate.

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  26. Well said, Mr. Elliot. He is a phony.

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  27. Now that gays and transgenders are experiencing acceptance, who is left that we can beat up on? That's right - atheists! When this country can elect openly admitted atheists, then I'll know that we have really turned the corner.

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    1. Actually, I think we're starting to circle back to the Jews, in their role as proprietors of the only nation on earth that is still having its existence questioned 67 years after its creation.

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    2. Well, A-n-A seems to think that Native Americans deserve to get most, if not all, of the U. S. back, so maybe Israel isn't the ONLY nation whose existence is being questioned. ; ) Kinda surprising to see Mr. Graf sticking up for atheists, but he makes a good point. I don't doubt that you're both right.

      Maybe we'll have to grudgingly go from having a national consensus on whom to beat up on to each demographic having its own list of approved targets. But I imagine that the beating up ain't over yet. And the PERCEPTION of being beaten up, a la Huckster Huckabee's concern about "criminalizing Christianity" -- well, that's evergreen...

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  28. I have always believed that people have the right to make their own decision regarding faith, skepticism and so forth and that whatever decision they come to should be respected. Recently, I recorded a video which is on You Tube supporting the Openly Secular movement. You can view it online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0RTK_51i-s&feature=youtu.be

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Thanks for commenting. As soon as I vet your remarks, they'll be posted, assuming they aren't, you know, mean and crazy.