Exhausted!

Well my lack of sleep over the past three days has caught up with me. I am experiencing those mini nod-offs you get when you are really tired.I had a serious case of insomnia for the last three nights so I listened to audio books and browsed and blogged on tumblr until surise for two nights straight (or should I say in a row to avoid the “S” word aka straight). As an aside – do you avoid saying “straight” when giving directions and instead say, “proceed gaily forward.?” That’s one of the signs you’ve been an LGBTQIA activist for a long, long time! :D

Today I ran some errands – went to the Post Office  only to find my package had gotten routed to the wrong post office. Now I have to track it down without having a car and relying on public transportation. Then I took the up hill walk to the city’s only Target and did some shopping then back home. Yeah, I know, how terribly exciting

Meanwhile the apartment needed repairs  thanks to a pressurization tank springing a leak and flooding my kitchen which is opposite the room with that tank and the hot water heater. That meant that all my water was shut off for a while then restored at low pressure until the new pressurization tank arrived. Meanwhile the electric heater that heats my house uses water in it’s heating operation and it doesn’t work without pressurized water so I was relying on portable electric heaters The portable heaters either worked too well and heated the room up to beach weather or didn’t heat enough. I finally found the sweet spot in the settings that heated the place just right.

Now everything is fixed and running well and I am happy but tired. So it’s off to dream land which can be strange for me thanks to the medication I’m on. If the dreams gets really weird I’ll give you all a report.

So good night everyone!  Virtual bear hugs all around. I’ll check in with you sometime tomorrow. Bye bye!

Fairy JerBear

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Rainbow Flag Burning in Omaha: Hate Crime, Stupid Mistake, or Both?

jerbearinsantafe:

Sounds like a hate crime facilitated by alcohol…

Originally posted on Unfinished Lives:

Lesbian spouses Ariann Anderson and Jess Meadows-Anderson speak with WOWT 6 reporter about their brush with hatred and flag burning in their quiet Omaha neighborhood. Lesbian spouses Ariann Anderson and Jess Meadows-Anderson speak with WOWT 6 reporter about their brush with hatred and flag burning in their quiet Omaha neighborhood.

Omaha, Nebraska – A 23-year-old man sits in jail today, charged with felony arson for burning his Lesbian neighbors’ Rainbow flag, and for resisting arrest after he stole the flag from their porch Sunday morning. WOWT reports that Cameron Mayfield, who lives down the street within eyeshot of Ariann Anderson and Jess Meadows-Anderson, grabbed their pride flag, set it afire, and drove down the street in an act the couple says was a hate-filled attack on them.

Around midnight Sunday morning, the two spouses were awakened by what they first thought was an attempt to break in their home. They checked to see that their daughter was unharmed, and then caught sight of the source of the commotion. Looking out their window, they say a familiar…

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‘Professional Effeminate Homosexual’ Alec Mapa Is Disappointed In Russell Tovey’s Comment About Feminine Gay Men / Queerty

I have always faulted a segment of the gay male community for their effeminaphobia (fear/hatred of effeminate men). I have had to deal with this nonsense for decades. I addressed it in a post some time ago so I won’t rehash it here but suffice to say it really infuriates me! So when I came across this quote on Queerty from Alex Mapa in response to an effeminaphobic comment from Russell Tovey, I  almost let out a cheer, (until I remembered that it was late at night and I live in an apartment complex)…

10940617_10153473754654186_5449659560953140228_nHe’s glad he’s not effeminate? 
Well the feeling is mutual lady, I’m glad I’m not you.
I kind of feel like this is why I do what I do. Why I’m not just a homo, but A BIG ONE. Being an effeminate gay man still remains an unforgivable sin in our masculinity obsessed culture. I think about all the young sissy boys who return from school after being bullied and shamed day after day, perhaps returning home to the same treatment. I know because I was one of those kids. Was? I still am! I still get it in the neck for being who I am. I’ve spoken to so many non gender conforming youth who have the same recognizable look of despair on their faces . All they need to hear is that they’re fine exactly the way they are. That there’s nothing wrong. That they haven’t killed anyone . That they’re worthy of love and acceptance , AS IS. Perhaps if they heard that they’d stand up for themselves. Perhaps if they heard that they wouldn’t be four times as likely to commit suicide than their straight peers. Perhaps if we were all encouraged to love ourselves from the beginning we wouldn’t grow up to be gay men who treat other gay men like shit. I’m in no way outraged by this. I’ve been hearing this since day I could mince. It’s just disappointing . We experience so much discrimination from the outside world, wouldn’t it be great if we were kinder to each other in our own community? There are a billion reasons to feel actual shame and remorse. Being your authentic, fabulous, faggy self shouldn’t be one of them.
Sincerely ,
Alec Mapa
Professional Effeminate Homosexual for nearly 50 years.”

— The comic actor in a Facebook post referencing Russell Tovey‘s comment that he’s glad he’s not effeminate

Read the original piece here at Queerty

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Ryan Murphy’s Family Equality Council Speech — Vulture

While views may differ on the consistency of the television “dramedy” Glee, there is no doubt that it has made a significant impact on popular culture. This is most evident among millennials who embraced the show and were influenced by it’s message of tolerance. Ryan Murphy, one of Glee’s creator, reflected the shows legacy at a speech over the weekend. Here’s the story from Jenny Peters writing for Vulture.com

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Ryan Murphy. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images


When Glee creator Ryan Murphy stepped onstage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills to accept the Family Equality Council award last Saturday, February 28, for being the force behind that groundbreaking show, he got a bit misty-eyed. Nowadays LGBTQ characters are found in many television shows, including his other huge hit American Horror Story, but as he reflected on the upcoming final episode of Glee, Murphy remembered a very different time in Hollywood. Here is his speech:

So a couple of weeks ago, the co-creators of Glee, Brad [Falchuk] and Ian [Brennan] and I, got alone in a room with our other writers on Glee to write the final episode. We struggled for days with the title, and finally we just settled on the truth, and the series finale is called “There’s No One Left to Come Out.” It’s a true story.

I look back to seven years ago, Glee was going to be about a lot of things — song, dance, Jane Lynch’s character being waterboarded — but for me, I wanted to do something personal on the show. I grew up in Indiana behind a cornfield and a church, and for me the only single person I knew who was gay was Paul Lynde. So with Glee I wanted to write about something personal, something about gay characters, something about creating your own kind of family no matter who you are or where you live.

I have always believed in the ideology of one of my friends and idols, Norman Lear, that the way to acceptance is understanding. You have to see it, experience it in your own house and your life, to empathize. I think the success of Glee and Modern Family brought gay kids and gay families to millions of people who think they didn’t know those kinds of people, and then suddenly, within the course of one month, they did. To me, that is the great legacy of these shows and is why public opinion, I think, has changed so radically and so quickly.

I have been told that seven years ago, before Glee and Modern Family and Transparent and Orange Is the New Black, that only 18 percent of Americans believed that a gay or nontraditional family was entitled to equal rights. Today, that number has grown to 52 percent. That is a great change, that is a great victory, shockingly in such a short amount of time, but there is more work to be done.

I started writing television in 1998, and I still have the network executive notes from my first show in my office. They were repeated misses that used to say the following, quote: “Could you please not have the cheerleader wear a fur coat?” Code for “too gay.” And “Could you please remove the gay characters holding hands?” Code for the same. I am happy to say that I no longer receive notes like this, and I am happy to say that all the executives who gave me those notes are no longer employed.

Show creators like Steve [Levitan] and myself get a lot of credit for moving the bar when it comes to the depiction of gay characters and gay families, but the truth of the matter is that a lot of the credit really needs to go to a new breed of executive and leader in our town, people like Dana Walden and Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane and Michael Lombardo. These are the people who are always on the right side of history.

These captains of industry fought the good fight 100 percent of the time, even when they were starting out, and with their power and ability to make and approve content, said one simple thing to change history and create a new national conversation, which was, “Do it, write it, don’t change it, be bold, that’s the only way things are going to change. And once in a while, tone down the fur.” And so, without further ado, until we reboot the show on Netflix in three years, here is the cast of Glee [to perform one last time].

Read the story here at Vulture.com

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A teen’s genderqueer expression leads to empowerment – LGBTQ Nation

jerbearinsantafe:

Jacob’s story, I posted in this post, has now gotten a cool boost in this presentation from upworthy: http://www.upworthy.com/their-name-is-jacob-and-here-is-their-story-yes-theirs?c=upw1

In so many ways Jacob’s story us my story – it just took me a few more decades to figure it out…

Originally posted on Fairy JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different - Santa Fe, NM:

It is gratifying to see more stories about genderqueer/non-binary people in Queer News outlets. I really like this particular report from NATHAN MANSKE, Executive Director of I’m From Driftwood appearing in LGBTQ Nation

‘I wish I could show myself at 13 who I am now’

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For some people, like Jacob Tobia, choosing between “male” and “female” is too restricting. Gender, as Jacob learned at a conference while in high school, should be more fun than that.

I had never thought about gender as something fun before. And I went into school the next day, or the next week, and talked to some of my friends who were also organizing in the GSA with me — the gay-straight alliance. And I talked to them, like, “I learned all these things at this conference! I learned that gender is this spectrum, not this binary, that you can play with gender…

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New Mexico News: Safe Schools For All Students Act Addressing Bullying Prevention Passes Senate Committee

I am excited about this news close to home here in New Mexico. The New Mexico Safe Schools Initiative has worked its way through a key legislative committee. Here’s the latest in a press release from Equality New Mexico…

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News Release
Contact: Amber Royster, 505-224-2766, amber@eqnm.org
SAFE SCHOOLS FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT ADDRESSING BULLYING PREVENTION PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE
Santa Fe, NM – March 2, 2015 – Monday, the Senate Education Committee voted 5-4, along party lines, in favor of protecting New Mexico students through “The Safe Schools for All Students Act,” SB 393, sponsored by Senator William Soules (D-Las Cruces). The legislation will improve how bullying and harassment is addressed, monitored, and mitigated in New Mexico public schools, making for more productive learning environments.

“Over 10,000 New Mexico students miss school each month because they feel unsafe, and the Safe Schools for All Students Act begins to mitigate this reality through increased accountability and better guidance,” said Amber Royster, Executive Director for Equality New Mexico. “We applaud the Senate Education Committee for advancing this legislation, and hope to be met with similar enthusiasm and concern for New Mexico students as we move forward.”

“Improving student success means doing everything we can to provide a safe learning environment, including providing teachers with more effective strategies for addressing bullying behavior and its root causes,” added Havens Levitt, Board Member of Albuquerque GLSEN Chapter and 29 year educator with APS. “Students who don’t feel safe can’t come to school ready to learn. The Safe Schools for All Students Act is an important step to create safe learning environments for all students, and to give teachers the tools they need to keep students engaged.”

SB 393 has received outspoken support from The New Mexico Safe Schools Initiative and supporting partners, including New Mexico Public Health Association, New Mexico Voices for Children, American Federation of Teachers-NM, National Educators Association-NM, New Mexico Parent Teacher Association, Anti-Defamation League-NM, New Mexico Autism Society, Disability Rights New Mexico, National Association of Social Workers-NM, National Lawyers Guild-NM, New Mexico Forum for Youth, and over 50 community-based organizations working on behalf of New Mexicans.

The mother of Carlos Vigil—the young man from Los Lunas who was a victim of pervasive bullying and harassment and, tragically, took his own life in 2013—has also been incredibly supportive of the bill, speaking about her son’s work and vision for making schools safe for all students. Students are bullied for a number of reasons, including physical ability, appearance, socio-economic factors, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and more. This legislation would protect all students from bullying and ensure safer learning environments through improved accountability measures, more comprehensive guidance for districts, and better strategies for mitigating incidents of bullying and harassment.

“National statistics indicate that bullying has become more lethal and frequent than in the previous two decades,” said Jenn Jevertson of the New Mexico GSA Network. “Unfortunately, this rings true in New Mexico, as prior laws passed and implementation efforts have had little impact on protecting students – and our research proves it. However, the Safe Schools for All Students Act gives us the chance to turn things around, and we are grateful that the Senate Education Committee agrees.”

Despite having a statewide bullying prevention statute for almost a decade, the majority of New Mexico’s school districts have policies in place that do not comply with federal standards, and a significant number of school districts and charter schools have not even adopted bullying prevention policies, or simply have a statement prohibiting bullying in a student disciplinary handbook, according to a 2014 survey and analysis of 127 New Mexico school district and charter school bullying prevention policies. Furthermore, the most recent (2013) New Mexico Youth Risk & Resiliency Survey indicates that at least 50,000 incidents of bullying and harassment that occur in New Mexico schools go unreported each year.

“The GLSEN School Climate Survey of 2013 found that 55.5% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 37.8% because of their gender expression,” said Adrien Lawyer, Director of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico. “Today we look forward to increased protection for these students and all students in New Mexico.”

About New Mexico Safe Schools Initiative: The New Mexico Safe Schools Initiative is a multi- year collaborative education, outreach, and advocacy effort to address and mitigate bullying, harassment, and violence in the schools, as well as to increase public understanding of Safe Schools issues, such as school push-out, to create a supportive environment for systemic change. Local collaborating partners include Equality New Mexico Foundation, Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, New Mexico Gay-Straight Alliance Network, and Southwest Women’s Law Center. (See more ateqnm.org/safe-schools).

About EQNM: Equality New Mexico is committed to educating to change hearts and minds, advocating for those treated unfairly, and working to empower communities and individuals to achieve collective impact for the fair treatment of all.

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Emotional Abuse Can Be As Damaging As Sex Abuse — Science of Us

jerbearinsantafe:

I posted the reblog below last October and today I was once again reflecting on the spiritual /emotional/psychological abuse I suffered as a teen. It is painful to reflect back on that time. In many ways this is the other side of the story from my post about being a nature boy. One of the reasons escaping into the woods, and the accompanying liberation it brought me, is such an indelible and pleasant memory, is that it stood in sharp contrast to how I felt at home. When I was young I hd a recurring fantasy about being captured by “Indians” and being able to shake off the shackles of my restrictive life as the son of a conservative Adventist preacher. I just knew instinctively that living with this imagined tribe ment a life free of shame about my body, my sexuality, my gender non-conformity and free from the weight of religious oppression.

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It is hard to put into words just how messed up the emotional tumult in my young mind was. I had been indoctrinated to believe that my sexuality was wrong, that even masturbation was evil, that the devil and his fallen angels were real and out to get me, that only certain types of music were acceptable to god and I was doomed to burn up when Jesus came back. That was what I fantasized about escaping permanently and why the wonderful temporary escape to nature, music, Thoreau and the bonds of friendship was so important.

I still feel the sting of those awful memories. They clouded the relationship with my father the rest of his life. I can now see that in many ways my father was also a victim. His emotional well being was compromised by the way he was treated when he grew up and the constraints of the religion he embraced. Sadly he ruined his relationship with me by creating an emotionally and spiritually abusive environment. These experiences are why I am passionate about creating a supportive and empowering society for all who are weird or different. All youth should be allowed to be true to themselves and free from the corrosive influence of spiritual and emotional abuse.

Originally posted on Fairy JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different - Santa Fe, NM:

I have always believed that emotional abuse is really serious. I feel it is something I dealt with during my tween years and my adolescence. The friction was almost exclusively between me and my dad. It was intertwined with spiritual abuse, where loading on the guilt was a common occurrence. The negative atmosphere at home is why I really enjoyed getting out into nature or anywhere where I felt freer to be myself.

The incident that I still haven’t fully recovered from was the time I was listening to music. It happened to be a Christian folk group that included bass and drums which my father interpreted as evil. He took the record off the turntable and flung it across the room. As he was doing that he growled, “can you picture the angels in heaven signing this?” I was dumbstruck and didn’t dare say what I was thinking. This…

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