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Ohio LGBT Statewide Convention: Has The Time Come and Gone?

03/01/2014
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mcol_rainbowOn March 24th of 2009 I proposed, to the then Ohio Democratic LGBT Director, an idea that I had been mulling over for sometime, an Ohio LGBT State Convention, to be held before the 2010 election.

Dare To Dream posted the idea and took a poll but to our chagrin, no interest of action followed.

Plus since I’m a very small cog in the political machinery, my voice did not go beyond the polite, “…that sounds nice Tristan.”

Now that it is 5 years later and most of the Country is lurching and advancing forward, is there a need or desire?

With the Statewide “tiff” between Equality Ohio and Freedom to Marry could the idea work?

So, once again, let us re-visit the idea and post.

LGBT State Convention 3/24/2009

First let me give some detail and background.

Three main goals for State Convention: (1) Would be to have an impact on State politics and further LGBT civil rights in Ohio. (2) Would be to unite the State LGBT Community as one political voice in Ohio and (3) To further LGBT equality in Ohio.

The Ohio LGBT State Convention would be a two day event in Columbus, Ohio.

Organizations like the various Stonewall Clubs; HRC; Area Aids Task Force; Equality Ohio; Gay Churches and Gay Friendly Churches; University/College Gay Clubs; Gay Veterans; Gay Publications, etc, all would send three Delegates.

Gay Bars and Clubs could choose and send three Delegates.

Gay Ohio Elected Officials would be Delegates at Large.

Anyone not within any of the stated groups could register as a Delegate at Large.

A Platform Committee would be established before the Convention and would hold regional hearings with LGBT Community Members to set up a Unity Platform.

Now here’s the really hard part, who would come and is there enough interest to call for a Ohio Statewide LGBT Convention?

This has never been tried in any State and surely would garner interest from around the Country and with the media.

Ohio Tiff Between LGBT Community Shows Lack Of Gay Agenda

03/01/2014
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cloud_lI’ve watched with interest the “tiff”, between Equality Ohio and Freedom to Marry, unfold on FaceBook and Twitter and which has even made it into the national papers.

A side note, Bob and I support both groups and have often wondered, among ourselves ,why the cause doesn’t out weigh the “turf war?”

Other States are plodding forward with laws, bans and discrimination being overturned at every corner by the courts, yet we seem to be stuck in Ohio with name calling, “angry mob”, and with threats of “I’m keeping a list and you don’t want to be on it”, rhetoric between groups.

Back in 2009, Dare to Dream posted on February 8th, a posting about the so-called “gay agenda” and maybe it was time for a LGBT National leader to emerge.

The issue of marriage for LGBT Community is of utmost importance in the “Constitutional Equality” of ALL Americans.

So here is that Dare to Dream posting from 2/8/2009, It’s Time For a National LGBT Leader.

It has always amazed me when my “far-right” friends talk about the “homosexual agenda.”

None of them have ever been able to tell me what that “agenda” has.

If it means that agenda is a code word for “civil rights” then I will agree.

I often explain to my friends that the LGBT Community is so fractured that organizing them under one voice and direction would be a herculean task.

Bob and I had breakfast with a good friend and former employee this past Saturday.

When the conversation got around to politics and activism, I spouted my concern about how I felt that the LGBT community tends to be wrapped up in petty “bar politics” and generally “self-destructive” tendencies.

When I was done with my “sermonizing”, about how it seems that we as “gays” tend not to want to see anyone succeed in a leadership role, our friend, who is in college and younger than I, calmly said, “I agree.”

He related several stories about his dealings with the “community” through a Pride Center and how it never moved forward due to the “hostility” and “political” agenda of various members.

I shared the fact that I could relate to his comment, for when I ran for “public office” several other gay bar owners, and patrons of their establishments, would not support me, even tho it seemed a good thing that an openly gay male was standing up and trying to make a difference.

Comments from those owners and patrons ranged from “He’s only running to save his business” to “He think he’s better than all of us.”

The one I like the most, and said to my face, “Tristan you’re a fucking gay bar owner, act like one.” Still haven’t figured that out yet.

Later, after it was known that I had received several death threats in the mail, the “community” was rather silent. In-fact it was our “straight” friends, along with the local Police Department, that was the most concerned for my safety.

With the new administration’s open support for the rights of the LGBT “community,” it is time to find our collective voice.

If we let these first four years of the Obama Administration pass without striving to get the “rights”, that all other Americans enjoy, then we have only ourselves to blame.

Open Letter To Sponsors and Co-sponsors of Ohio HB 376

02/24/2014
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quillDear Ohio House of Representative Member,

I am a “Viet Nam Era” (1966-1970) Veteran who spent four years of his life defending this Nation, it’s rights and it’s freedoms.

Who is defending mine?

Obviously, not you.

As a cosponsor of Ohio HB 376, you wish to deny the civil rights of many of your voters.

You obviously believe in a Theocracy more then a Democracy.

Has Ohio become an Islamic State?

Would you have this Nation return to “separate but equal” housing, schools, buses, drinking fountains and lunch counters?

Would you put “pink triangles” on those of us who you would deny equal rights and services or is mere suspicion or perception to be enough?

Would you allow ones civil rights denied because the bible states women should not wear the clothes of a man…like pants?

Would you allow ones civil rights to be violated because they have adorned themselves with tattoos?

Would you defend the business who denied service to an inter-racial married man and women?

Would you support laws based on women being property of their husbands or fathers?

Would you now build a larger bureaucracy to enforce this government of Theocracy?

With HB 376, I hear the stomp of marching boots as tho they have stepped out of the history’s pages of Europe and the 1930′s.

As long as I can VOTE, I will vote for Equality.

As long as I can VOTE, I vote for Democracy.

As long as I can VOTE, I will vote against you and those who deny American’s liberty, justice and freedom.

Is The LGBT Community Being Religiouly Perscuted?

02/22/2014
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shape-writing_fabien_udr_01Many have fled to America in the name  of “Religious Freedom.”

They were being persecuted in their native lands for their beliefs and “life styles.”

It has been America’s legacy since the Quakers; Puritans; Jesuits and all the others that came in boat loads during the late 1600 hundreds and early 1700 hundreds.

Now does America have a new group of “Religiously Persecuted?”

Is America the one persecuting in the name of God?

Is the LGBT Community being religiously persecuted not because of their religion but because of religion?

Is this what the “founders” envisioned?

Is an American Theocracy in our future?

 

 

 

 

 

2013 in review

01/01/2014
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Rejected By Family At Christmas…40 Years Later, It Still Hurts

12/20/2013
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Christmas2013-1I remember it like it was yesterday, even tho it was 40 years ago this week, Christmas 1973.

My Mom, in her beautiful English broad a accent, had asked me earlier in the week if I was a “puff, gay a homosexual?”

My answer was thoughtful, humble and reflecting, for this was the moment I feared for many years.

Slowly I answered. “I think so.”

Mom’s answer was quick and to the point. “Just because you’re English, you don’t have to be queer!”

She asked me to leave and I asked her not to tell Dad, “Let me do it, please.”

I drove to my apartment in a daze. Teary eyed, heart pounding and flesh clammy.

Christmas had always been a special time in our home. Dad decorating the tree; music flowing through out the house; Mom cooking and baking, and gifts, so many gifts under the tree.

Only when I had been in the military had I ever missed a Christmas with my parents.

I got back to my apartment, poured my self a glass of Sherry and sat watching the night fall on the scene outside the window.

The phone rang. It was Mom. “I told your Father…pause…how could you destroy our goals and hopes?”

Without thinking I answered, “Isn’t it a shame that living my life should destroy the hopes and goals for you?”

The next words from my Mom went straight to the heart. “Don’t bother coming home for Christmas.”

Conversation ended without even a good bye.

For many years after that, I spent the holiday alone, but I always celebrated.

Put up a tree, cooked a meal and called all the relations wishing them a “Merry Christmas.”

Dad died a couple of weeks after the Christmas of 1975. My Mom had called me, I was in the Northwest then, to come home, “he was going quickly.”

I did talk to Dad on that call and the only thing he said was “I love you son.”

It had been many years without ever hearing those words, even before the gay issue, for Dad was not emotional or verbal when expressing his feelings. I didn’t get home in time. He was gone.

Mom was cold towards me. She went abroad to teach and I came back home.

Over the years, we still were a part during the holidays but in the early 90′s, after Bob and I had met and bought a house, did something in her change.

I contribute the change to her missing the wonderful times and the memories of what use to be. I also think having my Aunt, her sister, come from England for a Summer visit helped, for she was very supportive to Bob and myself.

On one of those renewed holiday visits my Mom found out that Bob didn’t go home and that his family was separated. The next year my Mom asked me to bring Bob.

The several years that followed became a tradition on Christmas. Mother would invite us both “home for the holiday.”

Mom still was never comfortable with my “gayness” and we never talked about the subject, yet it was obvious she liked Bob.

The Christmas of 1993 was the last one for the three of us.

She wanted it to be “special.”

That year Mom went as far as to cook a goose with all the traditional trimmings. She passed several weeks later,  just after her 69th birthday and days before the anniversary of my Dad’s death.

I had visited the night before. As she hugged me, walked me to the door, her last words were, “Son, I love you and tell Bob, I love him too.”

Now each Christmas, Bob and I celebrate what I consider the most wonderful time of the year.

One filled with much hurt, but also filled with many loving memories.

I’ll never regain those years a part from my Mom and Dad, but I have their last statements to mentally unwrap each Christmas.

It became a tradition during those years a part that I would write a poem on Christmas Eve.

That first Christmas Eve alone, I spent it at midnight mass and wrote the poem on the back of the program before the recessional.

The Eve 1973

I bow my head in prayer and ask the Father of us all for guidance.
It is the Eve of the most hallowed day in all of Christendom, and I am alone.
He was born among us, then died among us,
Yet He too was alone when forsaken.
The choir sings its anthem as flames of candles dance,
Casting light upon the humble congregation.

Where is the future?
Where is my new birth?

Whisper softly, “Merry Christmas.”

Finally, if you know anyone who has been rejected by their family for any reason, especially because of being gay, hug them, show them that they are indeed loved, for isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Joe McCarthy and Senator Fred Van Ackerman

09/21/2013

One of my favorite authors is Allen Drury.AAAACzB_CRUAAAAAATnZpg

In fact, he was the first “modern” author I had read outside of the classics.

That’s what happens when you grow up in a household where your Mother is an English teacher and Chaucer was her main field.

Drury wrote four fictional books that were based on Washington DC and politics.

Advise and Consent: A Novel of Washington Politics
Capable of Honor
Preserve and Protect

I came from a family that was semi-active in politics, but very strong on opinion, and it was Drury’s books that gave me the “bug” for politics.

He was the first author to write about a Senator, before Robert Kennedy’s murder, assassinated while running for President and that was in his 1962 novel, A Shade of Difference.

The reason I started this post with the reference to Advice and Consent will be explained a bit further in this piece.

Many months ago I had mentioned to several people how I thought Senator Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, reminded me of the late Senator from Wisconsin, anti-communist crusader, Republican Joe McCarthy.

I marveled at the similarity in tone; style; rhetoric; philosophy and even to the fact that they look a like.

FormalPortraitted-cruz-14

Many have stressed that Joe McCarthy was one of the most vicious, calculating and self-serving Senators of modern times, but now we have Senator Ted Cruz.

The Freshman Senator from Maine, Margret Chase Smith, herself a Republican, summed up the feelings of many in Congress, and the Nation, on June 1st, 1950, when she spoke about McCarthy and McCarthyism.

“Mr. President,” she began, “I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition…. The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest deliberative body…. But recently that deliberative character has…been debased to…a forum of hate and character assassination.”

“Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America,” she complained. “It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.”

She asked her fellow Republicans not to ride to political victory on the “Four Horsemen of Calumny–Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.”

Now we have Senator Cruz, and his “tea baggers”, again high jacking the Congress by debasing it into a “forum of hate and character assassination.”

McCarthyism has been revived by the Texas Senator in the name of “Patriotism.”

He attacks “Obamacare” as tho it was infesting the nation, as did McCarthy on communism.

He is willing to bring about economic chaos to the nation, and it’s citizens, in the name of patriotism.

He is willing to charge ahead with the “Four Horsemen-Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.”

The fictional Senator from Wyoming, Fred Van Ackerman, in Drury’s Advise and Consent, also used vile and devious methods to carry out his political agenda.

His less than civil methods and concerns caused another Senator to commit suicide.

When the leader of the Senate, and the same party as Van Ackerman, confronted him, Van Ackerman’s answer, “What I did, it was for the good of the country.”

Senator Bob Munson answered, “Fortunately, our country always manages to survive patriots like you.”

Hopefully, and prayerfully, this nation will survive Cruz’s Tea Party brand of “patriotism” like we survived McCarthy.

 

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