Pope Francis

"Stand with Margie" and Pope Francis; Stonewall Star Jeremy Irving Comes Out Swinging; Grindr Bots and STDs

“Stand with Margie” and Pope Francis

One of the reasons why I still keep this blog running is for things like this…the story about Margie and Andrea, a married couple, where Margie was fired from a Catholic school for being gay and married. It’s not great clickbait. It will never get nearly as much attention as pundit, Megyn Kelly, or Donald Trump, and yet it’s 100 times more important. It’s simply about two decent, hard working women trying to live their lives to the best of their ability and still facing discrimination through no fault of their own. I could go on, but you get my point. No one else has touched this topic since it broke. I first posted about all this here.

And I’ve been following the story ever since. Now the supporters who set up a Facebook page for Margie are asking people to write to Pope Francis as some sort of show of appeal.

TAKE ACTION!
Letter Writing Campaign:

Write to Pope Francis this week
Children: Tell Pope Francis your story and ask him to meet with Margie and Andrea

Adults: Tell your story, ask Pope Francis to meet with Margie and Andrea and ask him to declare a moratorium on firing LGBT Catholics.
Send these letters to our
P.O. Box 343
Narberth, PA 19072
so we can send them to Pope Francis all at once.
Letters MUST be received by Wednesday August 19 th 2015. Please look at the the messages below for sample letters you can use.

Thank you for your efforts to help achieve a moratorium on firings and eventually inclusion for all.

You can check that out here. 

The story about Margie didn’t make the Guardian, but one similar did. 

In May 2012, she wed the love of her life, Donna, in Iowa. It was also at that time she learned her cancer was in remission. The following May, she applied for – and later accepted – her dream job, a position that entailed running a food pantry at St Francis Xavier, a Roman Catholic church.

And this year, on 9 May, Simon was asked to resign from that job after her marriage to a local Lutheran reverend, Donna Simon, was noted in a magazine article.

In any event, the main point I’m trying to make is that I live in the northern most section of the Philadelphia area, between New York and Philadelphia, in New Hope, Bucks County, PA, and I watch the local news regularly from Philadelphia. So far I have not seen one single follow up on this story, and the only news I see related to Pope Francis is how wonderful his visit to Philadelphia is going to be. You would think God himself is coming. So I have very little hope that any letters from any amount of people on this topic of Margie being fired will help much. But I do give them credit for trying. At least there’s that.

Stonewall Star Jeremy Irving Comes Out Swinging

In yet another attempt to save the image of the upcoming film, Stonewall, a white star in the film, Jeremy Irving, recently made a few comments of his own. I posted about activists calling for a boycott yesterday and if you scroll down you’ll see more links. The main reason we’re seeing this is because activists are calling for a boycott of Stonewall. And that can get nasty and gain momentum. I’ve seen that happen on the Internet many times before.

To anyone with concerns about the diversity of the #StonewallMovie. I saw the movie for the first time last week and can assure you all that it represents almost every race and section of society that was so fundamental to one of the most important civil rights movements in living history. Marsha P Johnson is a major part of the movie, and although first hand accounts of who threw the first brick in the riots vary wildly, it is a fictional black transvestite character played by the very talented @vlad_alexis who pulls out the first brick in the riot scenes. My character is adopted by a group of street kids whilst sleeping rough in New York. In my opinion, the story is driven by the leader of this gang played by @jonnybeauchamp who gives an extraordinary performance as a Puerto Rican transvestite struggling to survive on the streets. Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character represents the Mattachine Society, who were at the time a mostly white and middle class gay rights group who stood against violence and radicalism. I felt incredibly nervous taking on this role knowing how important the subject matter is to so many people but Roland Emmerich is one of the most sensitive and heartfelt directors I’ve worked with and I hope that, as an ensemble, we have not only done such an important story justice but also made a good movie as well. Jeremy

He can “assure” us? How old is this dude? And and could there be a conflict of interest in his comments? 

Here’s a link to the entire article. You’ll want to check out the comments on this one, especially this comment from someone who is allegedly a Stonewall Historian, David Carter.

Here is what Stonewall historian David Carter said about Marsha and Sylvia in an interview published on GayToday.com:

Paul D. Cain: Where’s Sylvia Rivera? Duberman’s Stonewall placed her at the bar on the first night of the riots, yet your book makes absolutely no mention of her (although you do mention her buddy, Marsha P. Johnson). Do you think that, like so many others, she fabricated her remarks about being there?

David Carter: Yes, I am afraid that I could only conclude that Sylvia’s account of her being there on the first night was a fabrication. Randy Wicker told me that Marsha P. Johnson, his roommate, told him that Sylvia was not at the Stonewall Inn at the outbreak of the riots as she had fallen asleep in Bryant Park after taking heroin. (Marsha had gone up to Bryant Park, found her asleep, and woke her up to tell her about the riots.) Playwright and early gay activist Doric Wilson also independently told me that Marsha Johnson had told him that Sylvia was not at the Stonewall Riots.

Sylvia also showed a real inconsistency in her accounts of the Stonewall Riots. In one account she claimed that the night the riots broke out was the first time that she had ever been at the Stonewall Inn; in another account she said that she had been there many times. In one account she said that she was there in drag; in another account she says that she was not in drag. She told Martin Duberman that she went to the Stonewall Inn the night the riots began to celebrate Marsha Johnson’s birthday, but Marsha was born in August, not June. I also did not find one credible witness who saw her there on the first night.

There are more quotes like this, and it gets even more interesting. Evidently, something I didn’t know, there’s controversy about everything surrounding what happened at Stonewall. Frankly, I’m kind of curious about what the real story is.

From yet another POV, here’s a piece from Huff Po with a quote from someone who was actually there…not a well paid actor who has to promote a film.

Miss Major, a 73-year-old trans activist who participated in the riots, didn’t even make it through the full two minutes and 20 seconds of the trailer before she turned it off. “It was too much to watch,” she told HuffPost. “It’s just, ugh, they’re whitewashing it again. They’re burying us in the ground so when they step off of us, there’s no proof that we were even there.”

Many say that Emmerich’s decision to cast a handsome white man in the film’s lead role is part of a long history of the mainstream gay rights movement ignoring trans issues and the concerns of people of color in favor of causes like marriage equality and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
 
Say what you will, agree to disagree, but that last paragraph is a very difficult point to argue. This what they’ve done in the past and I’ve never yet seen a case where history didn’t repeat itself.

Grindr Bots and STDs

This is all a novelty to me because I know nothing at all about Grindr. I’ve never been there and don’t see myself going there any time in the near future.

However, those who do use Grindr in the UK are fuming because these alleged spambots catfished them and infected their phones with STDs.

Several men have reported falling victim to the spambots, which have been preying on users in the U.K. The bots are designed to strike up a conversation. Once they’ve engaged a user by talking about their “really nice dicks,” they try to lure them into clicking on a link to a fake webcam site, which then installs a virus on their device.

“It’s not a natural conversation flow,” one of the victims tells Pink News. “So it seems suspicious, but equally convincing enough to be real.”

And there you are.

You can read more of that here.

The Rainbow Detective Agency Book 6


The Scottish Duke


 
 





Self-Published Millionaires; Rush Limbaugh/Pope Francis; Mr. Transman 2013

Self-Published Millionaires

This morning I looked at my inbox and found an e-mail exchange between Tony and someone at allromanceebooks.com about a customer who had an issue with a self-pubbed e-book. Long story short, she/he couldn’t download the e-book with Word because of Mac issues and HTML issues on her/his end, which rarely ever happens. In fact, it’s never happened before. But we all know that anything can happen and usually does eventually. And even though it’s the first time this situation happened, it’s not the first time an isolated issue has come up and thankfully Tony and I know how to deal with it from a tech end and a customer service end.

But most authors don’t know how to do these things. And they go to e-publishing services that offer tech assistance and other things that can range from developmental editing to marketing/promotion. The article to which I’m linking now talks about how the majority of people in e-publishing/self-publishing today are making money with services for authors, instead of the authors themselves making money. It’s a tricky article because they also mention authors like Amanda Hocking who became what’s been dubbed a .99 millionaire because she allegedly started the self-publishing boom after her books took off. But for the most part, very few authors are making that kind of money, and even fewer are getting a return on their investment to self-publish…which on average seems to range from one to two thousand dollars.

Before this boom, authors such as Hocking and Bella Andre, another successful self-published author, did all the work of creating, editing, formatting and distributing e-books, often slogging through complicated technical manuals and getting stuck for days or weeks on complex software problems.

A lot of authors do this themselves, and they do it for control reasons. But what’s really interesting is now that she’s been so successful, the article says this is what Andre spends each year.

Andre estimates that she spends $60,000 to $80,000 a year creating and promoting her books, employing about a dozen freelancers for various parts of her operation. Each works up to 10 hours a week for her.

What the article fails to mention are things like genre specific authors and books. For example, anything like LGBT that doesn’t have a mainstream audience. We didn’t jump onto the e-publishing bandwagon to be the next Andre or Hocking. We learned how to self-pub because we didn’t have any other alternatives. And even more important, authors who have been around in trad publishing and now consider themselves hybrid authors because they self-pub and trad pub, got into self-publishing because big publishers were screwing them over with royalties and because they wanted to get out of print backlists into the market again. Another huge issue the article doesn’t mention is that it’s not simple to self-publish and e-publishing services deserve to get paid for what they are doing. No one works for free…except maybe the author. But no one is twisting any author’s arm to self-publish. Last I heard authors are more than willing to admit making money is not on the top of their list of reasons why they self-publish. Think about it this way: water is free at your kitchen sink; millions of people pay for bottled water in spite of this and the companies bottling water are not twisting anyone’s arm to buy their product. It might not makes sense to me to pay for water, but it does to many people.

So the entire concept of self-publishing goes far deeper than the content of this one little article. And not everyone is self-publishing because they want to be the next .99 millionaire. But in a general sense there are a few good tips at the end of the piece you can check out here. In the same respect, they might be so basic I think everyone already knows them anyway. My advice would be to learn how to keep your costs down as much as possible, and if you can learn how to do something on your own, do it and get that free water. If you can’t, and you know this, find an e-publishing service you trust who charges fair prices for the services being offered. You can google this information with a simple search and compare one to the other very easily nowadays. You just have to know there are no magic secrets to making millions in self-publishing. I wish I could say it’s all about writing good books, but that’s been disproved with one or two bad self-pubbed books that made millions. Sometimes you need a little luck, too.

The most positive thing I can say is this: now you can do it. Now you can self-pub and get your book out there. You couldn’t have done that fifteen years ago without spending thousands of dollars on publishing the print book alone.

Rush Limbaugh/Pope Francis

I keep seeing these comments and pieces about Rush Limbaugh and Pope Francis all over social media and I really haven’t been paying much attention to them. Rush Limbaugh means about as much to my daily news radar as spending the holiday season on the moon does. He’s a pundit…ugh…who gets paid very well for doing what he does. He knows how to manipulate and sway people in one direction. He also knows how to get them angry with some of the most insignificant topics. If he’d been alive in the old Wild West days he would have been a snake oil salesmen. To be fair and objective, and to remain bipartisan, Limbaugh is about as creepy and disgusting as that other liberal creep on MSNBC I can’t remember offhand.

The Pope, however, is one of the most powerful, spiritual, respected figures in the world. Even if you aren’t Catholic, you know the significance of his position on a global level. Nancy Reagan once said that in all her years at the White House her most impressive experience was meeting the Pope. She’s not even Catholic. The Pope is not a pundit at Fox News or MSNBC hawking for ratings. He’s The Pope. So I don’t even see how Rush Limbaugh…or any other commercial American pundit for that matter…should even be associated with the Pope. But this is what’s been happening.

Rush Limbaugh is going after Pope Francis just in time for the Christmas season.

The outspoken conservative pundit blasted the Pope this week after the pontiff released a new 50,000 word document, titled “Evangelli Gaudium” (The Joy of Gospel), calling for church reforms and criticizing certain ideas of capitalism.

Talk about putting a spin on something. I don’t even know where to begin. The Pope is not an elected government official. He’s the Pope. What part of that Rush doesn’t understand passes me by. And if you are a serious Catholic and you believe that Catholicism is the one true religion, it makes Rush and the American Christian right even less significant on a global level. In other words, what the Pope does, and what the significance of his position is, goes so far beyond American politics it’s not even worth trying to compare the two.  Unfortunately, Limbaugh is the Ugly American stereotype who just doesn’t know any better.

Mr. Transman 2013

This is a competition held in Brooklyn for female-male transgenders.

 Set to take place at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York, on Thurday, Dec. 5, Mr. Transman will bring together five individuals to compete for the title through the categories of Platform, Swimsuit, Interview, Talent and Evening Wear. The “female-to-male competition” will be judged by a panel of trans and queer personalities, including Juliana Huxtable, Merrie Cherry, Glenn Marla, Kit Yan and reigning Mr. Transman Teddie B Glaze.

All I can say is you have to check out the photos. Some of these guys are gorgeous. Trust me.

New Pope’s Previous Stand on Gay Marriage and Adoption

A new Pope has been elected, who will stand as the 266th Pope, and will take the name Pope Francis. He’s a Jesuit, the first Latin American Pope, and he’s from Buenos Aires.

During various interviews this week I’ve watched people in the US express what they’d like to see in a new Pope. One of the most popular wishes was that he bring people together. The other was that he reform some of the pasts rules and regulations. Most people when asked were not hesitant to mention things like birth control, the church’s stand on gay marriage, and divorce. For those who don’t know, the Catholic Church only believes in sex as procreation, they oppose gay marriage in any way, shape, or form, and if you are Catholic (straight) and you get a legal divorce you are excommunicated from the church unless you get a Papal annulment. Getting one of those is about as simple and as realistic as the outfit the Pope wears.

I don’t know how the new Pope feels about all of these things, and more, and I do know that he has to remain true to the doctrine of the church first and foremost. I may respect it, but I don’t have to believe it. Here’s his past stand on contraception, gay marriage and gay adoption:

Amid changing mores on sexuality, including same-sex marriage, Francis’ traditional views have clashed with cultural changes in Argentina. Before the nation legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, Francis called it a “destructive attack on God’s plan.”

At the same time, the new pope is expected to uphold church orthodoxy on sexuality, abortion, marriage and contraception. The same year he said same-sex marriage attacks God’s plan, he also said gay people adopting children is an act of discrimination against children.

The last line is interesting, considering the child abuse scandal within the church, not to mention the cover up and all the Catholic Priests who have been prosecuted and handed sentences that often include prison time. Or, or the millions of dollars they’ve paid in civil law suits. It not only shows how out of touch the man is with respect to the topic, but how disconnected the entire church is with the realities of discrimination and life in general. The acts that children have suffered through the discriminatory practices of the church will go down in the history of the world as an abomination.

Whether or not Pope Francis will change his opinions on these issues remains to be seen. I don’t have high hopes. Nowadays as more gay people let go of the shame they’ve been taught thanks to institutions like the Catholic Church, their straight friends, relatives, and co-workers are also letting go of the shame. So it’s not just about gay people anymore. It’s about the gay nephew, grandson, son, daughter, neighbor, doctor, and so on and so on…