One way to change the world is to act as if it’s already changed.

While I am still on the fence about the new Doctor Who spinoff, Class, showrunner Patrick Ness said something that made me smile:

Ness added: “Kind of astounded that having a gay lead on Class has been such big news. One day it won’t be, one day soon.


“BECAUSE IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL. One way to change the world is to act as if it’s already changed. That’s how I roll, that’s how Class rolls
— Patrick Ness

I hope he is right.  After the events over the weekend, I fear that day may be further away than we want it to be.

This approach to writing is one that I adopted many years ago, and it is one I wan to see many other writers take up.  While a story about the struggle can be entertaining, after a while, they really do start feeling like the same story over and over again.

When I was a kid, I looked up to characters like Frank N Furter from Rocky Horror because he was the only genderqueer LGBT character I had ever seen.  The world amazed me because no one cared about Frank's gender or sexuality.  Everyone was delightfully bisexual. No one was judged for they gender expression.

Today, there are more role models for kids, but there can always be more.  When we create or experience a world without prejudice or that is already beyond it like the original Star Trek, it gives us not only something to aspire to, but an escape from the hate and abuse present in the world.

Hooray for class.  You earned my support.

What's in a name? Are they sometimes sheer vanity?

Lately, I've been having a bit of an identity crisis. Not about who I am, but about what my name should be.  

Me on my 4th Birthday

I was born Charles Eric Dorsett. For much of my early life, I bounced between Charles and Eric. Eric was the obvious choice because Charles was the name of my father and Grandfather, so people calling me Eric in the family prevented confusion.  

In school, I switched back and forth, but in middle school I switched to Eric, and have stuck with that ever since.  

Over the last couple years though, a lot has changed. I have learned to accept myself, even finally admitting to myself that I am genderqueer. Maybe it's that, or maybe it is because I am closing in on 40, but I have started to feel like Eric is someone I used to know, and not the person I am now.  

Is this just vanity?

There is a part of me that feels like it is.  I have fought so hard all my life not to care what people call me that to find myself obsessing over whether people call me Eric or Charlie strikes me as vane.  It isn't though.

The only real power we have in this world is to decide how we want to present ourselves to the world.  I won't be offended if people call me either name.  This is something I need to do for me, regardless of whether or not anyone chooses to call me Charlie or not.  This is about the label I put on myself, and how I feel about that label.

How is Charlie different from ERic?

To the people who know me, there really isn't a difference.  I have grown and changed so much, especially over the last few years, that anyone I haven't seen for a while would notice a huge difference.

I am no longer as fearful and angry.  I have found some measure of peace in my life and comfort in my own skin.  I smile more.  My sense of humor is no longer based on making fun of myself.

More than anything, I am no longer the self-destructive person I used to me.  That, more than anything else, is probably why I have been thinking about this so much lately.

This is a metamorphoses more than a reinvention.

The changes I have gone through have been slow, but steady.  I am not deciding to change who I am, I am just naming a change that has already happened.

There is nothing wrong with reinvention.  I have had a few of those in my life, but this is something different.  This is just me naming myself more honestly.

Do you understand what I am going through?  Have you ever been through something similar?  Let me know it the comments.

Firing someone for being a bigot does not violate religious liberty.

Thomas Banks is suing Ford Motor because they fired him over a homophobic tirade.  He claims that his religious freedom was violated.  He is wrong.

He wasn't fired for his beliefs, he was fired for attacking Ford Motor for being an equal opportunity employer that refused to discriminate against its employees based on sexual orientation.  This was a violation of the companies anti-harassment policy.

As a Christian, I am unaware of any commandment of Jesus for his followers to be hateful or hostile or discriminatory.  There is no justification within the faith to be uncivil.

Banks is free to believe whatever he wants.  He is free to practice his religion.  He is not free to harass fellow employees. 

I am not sure what happened to civility.  When I was growing up, I was told to be respectful to other people, and not to do anything that would hurt other people.  It breaks my heart to see this value fall out of favor, or be labeled as "political correctness."

Democracy requires an open, honest, fact-based discussion of policy.  We cannot pretend that inconvenient facts don't exist.  Homophobia has no scientific or factual basis.  There are no facts left to put on the table.  It can be upsetting when an opinion fails under the weight of the facts, but when it happens we have to accept the well reasoned case, and either change our opinions or at least understand that we have no valid argument to make anymore.

I am not sure what to do about all this.  I hope there is a path we can take back to civil public discourse, but right now I just cannot see what it is.  Do you have any thoughts?

Source: http://www.newnownext.com/ford-discriminat...

We won our #dignity and #freedom as #LGBT in America

I am still in shock. My body is shaking, unsure whether I should laugh or cry, dance or scream. Maybe there is a way to do it all at the same time. 

Honestly, I never thought this day would come.  I remember how I felt the day my state banned my rights by constitutional amendment. It hurt, but I knew that my state and country default to hate and denial of dignity. We have never been good at respecting basic human rights.  

I want to feel like this is a victory, because it is, but I still don't feel like I am awake.  Reality has merged with my dreams in a way that I can't believe happened.

This feeling, smiling while on the verge of tears, is one of the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced.  Today, I am finally a full citizen in my country.

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times,” Kennedy wrote in the 34-page opinion. “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.
Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Gay Marriage - US News

The tide of progress marches forward, and our understanding of liberty and oppression grow over time.  As science continues to offer us a better understanding of the world as it is, we see the foolishness of past generations in the clear light of wisdom.  All humans are equal.  All humans.

It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality … Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry.
Justice Kennedy, “The Ideals Of Love,” And Other Key Quotes From The Huge Supreme Court Victory / Queerty

To read the court calling the discrimination I have lived with my entire life "unjustified infringement" is one of those moments beyond words.  I have been married to the person I love for almost two decades.  Married in the eyes of God, but not in the state I live in.  To be told that our relationship was a danger to the country hurt.  Now, we can start planning a wedding...

These words now cover my community too:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
— Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

It is hard to express my joy.  I am sure this post makes me sound like a rambling idiot, but I had to say something, and I had to say it now.  I am an equal citizen in my country.  After 37 years of second class citizenship, I am now equal. We are now equal.

Orson Scott Card Wins Wrong Award

Orson Scott Card, the reason I have been boycotting Ultimate Iron Man and Red Prophet has won an award for:

"an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world (Pink Kryptonite)."

Really? The homophobic author who campaigns on his website for the illegalization of sex gender relationships... really? This person deserves an award?

Should a writer's work be judged because of their personal beliefs? So long as we place them within the proper cultural context in which they lived. There are many things that in the past were viewed as racially progressive that are now seen as racially insensitive. But this is the 21st century...

I am open about by political, personal, and religious beliefs. I know that some will judge me and refuse to read me work because of them. I do not want to support an artist that hates people like me, because supporting that artist is supporting that hate speech.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) put him on their list of the Best Books for Young Adults and gave him their Margaret A Edwards Award, which is the same as saying, "Give money to this anti-GLBT crusader and teach your kids to see this bigot as a voice of authority."

Shame on them. Continue the boycott of Orson Scott Card and all who support him.

(via After Elton)

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The Meaning of the Rings, thanks Justin

I am huge fan of JustinFeed.com. I am not the kind of person who usually watched vlogs, or even seeks them out, but I am so glad I stumbled onto this one. I just finished watching the new episode ([jf056] The Rings), and I nearly cried. Brian and I did the same thing this year. For our Tenth Anniversary, we bought ourselves matching white gold rings, and renewed our commitment to each other. I could not have said it better than Justin did on the meaning of these rings.

Watch the show, and learn from the heart.

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A Comment on Roseanne's Words

Let the controversy begin, here is what Roseanne Barr said:

"They don't care about minimum wage. They don't care about any other group other than their own selves -- because, you know, some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing, and sometimes I wonder. I've never heard any of them say anything except for, 'Accept me 'cause I'm gay (What you said: Was Roseanne right? -- Queer Lesbian Gay Opinion -- Gay.com)."

ok, Let me start with the obvious rebuttal:

  1. The Rachel Maddow Show: I wish Rachel actual talked more about Queer issues, but she is focused on so many liberal causes that she rarely talks about our community.
  2. The Michael Signorile Show: Everything, every cause, smart and to the point.

'Nuff said...

Well, not really. To be honest, I have to kinda agree with Roseanne. While most of the individuals in the community are interested in multiple issues, our advocacy organizations are not very good at expressing our interests.

Queer issues are gender issues. People have issues with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered community because we challenge the cultures basic concept what it means to me a male or a female. So we should be involved in the feminist movement.

Employment is a major issue. As someone who has in the past been fired for simply being gay, I am a big advocate for employment reforms. But we should not be focused on equal employment for our people alone, we should work with other minority groups to make all our jobs safe, equal, and capable of supporting a family.

School bullying is a horrid really for our community and others and should be a major focus of our community.

Other issues that we need to focus on are the war, infrastructure, and government reform. How often have you heard these issues mentions by the predominate voices of our community?

I know that our community has many of its own challenges, especially from a growing religio-fascist movement that wants to use us as a scapegoat for all of the ills their policies are bringing upon our people, but we need allies, and we need to be more than we are.

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National Coming Out Day

C.E. Dorsett I hope everyone has taken the day to be who they are, and the embrace their identity with out any embarrassment or guilt.

I believe that National Coming Out Day should be a national banking holiday to express who they are openly.

If you like tattoos, SHOW THEM! You should have to hide them to have a posh job!

If you like to wear black and paint your self with make up, DO IT!! Let your Goth flag fly!

Wear your Star Trek lapel pin, promote your favorite music, what ever you are trying to hid so you can fit in to this bland, cold, vacuous culture that seeks to make each of us into homogenized, mindless consumers with nothing out of place or different, COME OUT! This day was made for you and me.

On that note:

George Takei on Politically Direct with David Bender

George Takei and Rachel Maddow will be discussing coming out on tonights show. (See it here)

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Back from Shore Leave

C.E. Dorsett Shore Leave was amazing this year! This was my first convention since Liquid Sky came out, and it was wonderful!

Friday, July 7, 2006

Things were a bit confused when we arrived early on Friday. Since my panel was confirmed little over a week before the convention, no one knew what my status at the Con would be. When I received my badge, they gave me a regular attendee pass and didn't know if I would be included in any other events at the convention. I felt a great deal of support from the other attendees who supported and accepted me immediately upon my arrival. After being bounced around to several people, I got my badge fixed. They attached a program participant notice to the bottom, hopefully I will earn a guest badge in the future. I was also welcomed at the "Meet the Pros" writers' alley later that night.

The first book I sold a copy of Liquid Sky too at Shore Leave was to the wonderful people from Selmak.org. They were a great deal of fun, and good people to boot. They took a picture of me with Selmak, and I am told it will be up on their site soon.

I met a lot of wonderful people Friday night, and that night, I was seated on the "Meet the Pros" writers' alley next to Ray Villard!! As a science geek, this was like sitting next to a rock star. This man has done so much to bring science alive in my imagination and countless others.

Being there, surrounded by all of these writers that I have admired for so long was an amazing experience. After so many years on the other side of the table, I was privileged and overwhelmed. Everyone did so much to make me feel at home and at ease among so many great writers. I have to add here, Paulette, if you read this, I really enjoyed our conversation and I hope you enjoy the book.

Saturday, July 8

After such an amazing day, I was afraid of what I would find on my full day at the convention. Quickly, I found my fears were nothing but jitters. I met many wonderful people really early on. Mark, it was great to talk to you. I really felt like I met kindred spirit in you.

A high point for me was the Gay Fandom: a melding of two communities panel. I was happy to see so many GLBT people coming out to discuss the good and the bad aspects of the portrayal of GLBT people and themes in SciFi media and press. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, especially since I have found it so difficult to publish any of my stories with prominent GLBT characters and themes. I also hope to begin a relationship with Dragon Lady Productions.

That night, I met Martin and Teresa, two very cool people who hung out for the rest of the night with me. Cheers y'all.

My panel, "Anime Themes in Literature" spent most of our time discussing the differences between Japanese and American SF, and the difference being more one of style effecting content, and not content in and of itself. My thesis was simple. Japanese SF is focused more on telling and imaginative story whereas American SF is preoccupied with the definition of "odd things" as odd. Maybe I'll write an essay for the site. The panel went well.

Sunday, July 9

I got to attend the Writer's Only Breakfast! I sat next to A.C. Crispin, who is one of the reasons I became a writer. She offered me a lot of good advice, and really made me feel like a novice. She was blunt in her comments, but her words will hopefully help me as I shop "Shine like Thunder" around.

Our Breakfast was accidentally paid for by a representative from Pocket Books. A.C. Crispin became enraged, while Brian and I slipped out.

Other Notes

In short, Brian and I had a great time. Our reception at Shore Leave was amazing. I hope all of the people who we met will stay in touch. I hope you all enjoy the book and I hope to see you all next year.

After consultation with a good deal of people, we have decided to make Liquid Sky into the first Audiobook available from Podiobooks.com. I hope to have it ready soon.

Thanks to everyone who made our time at Shore Leave so enjoyable.

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Marriage under Fire: The Ban, The Evangelist, and the Fraud

C.E. Dorsett As I read the news this morning, I thought to myself: I hope and pray that someday soon, I will have no stories of hate, bigotry, or discrimination to blog about. I get worried sometimes that I sound like a broken record, because the same divisive tactics are being used over and again from state to state, and internationally. If you ignore the problem, it only grows. So here we go again:


The Ban:

Wisconsin has become the seventh state to place a constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of same-sex couples on the 2006 ballot.

Passed by the state Assembly by 62-31 on Tuesday night, the amendment takes the familiar route of defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but goes on to outlaw recognition of “any legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals (Gay.com).”

Don't you just love how it is no longer acceptable among fear- and hate-mongers to just be against same-gender marriage, they have to ban the segregated versions of it too. What do these people have against the family?


The Evangelist:

A longtime Presbyterian minister and avowed “lesbian evangelist” faces a church trial Thursday over allegations that she violated church mandates by marrying two lesbian couples (Gay.com).

Now, they are attacking ritual marriage too? Well, guess this destroys their argument that people can at least have the rite even if they don't have the rights. I hope she is not removed from office. She is doing God's work.


The Fraud:

The Massachusetts attorney general's office is launching a criminal investigation into whether signatures on an anti-same-sex marriage petition were forged, the Associated Press reported (Gay.com).

They attack the institution of marriage and the clergy who support it, and they will even commit fraud to undo equal rights in Mass. It makes you feel sorry for these people in a way doesn't it. They are so lost in their own prejudice that they would break the law to see it forced on others. It's sad, and a little scary.


A Note:A certain bow-tied idiot on MSNBC has blogged about how Gay marriage will legalize Polygamy...Why it would not legalize Polyandry as well, I do not know, but he has his knickers in a twist about this. This apples and oranges thing is wearing thin. Plural marriage has a negative emotional and economic impact on those involved. It is a separate issue. [Ugh] If Rachel Maddow were not on his show, I wouldn't even know it was on.

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Christians and Lawmakers Against Adoption

C.E. Dorsett Hate is the Republican Party's plan for reelection of this year... a fear of families:

At least 16 states are considering whether gay men and lesbians are fit to be parents, USA Today reported Tuesday (Gay.com).

I am literally shaking as I write this. Gay Adoption is really a threat to this country? Children having loving families is a bad thing? The very thought does violence to the national soul. Do we really believe that Gay adoption will destroy the country?

Steps to pass laws or secure November ballot initiatives are underway in at least 16 states, adoption, gay rights and conservative groups say. Some — such as Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky — approved constitutional amendments in 2004 banning gay marriage (USA Today).

The Ohio adoption ban has already been defeated, but I have no idea for how long. A wild card in this whole debate is that the Missouri Policy against Gay Adoption was recently ruled without merit. And who could forget Janet Parshall comparing gay adoption to child abuse on Larry King Live.

There are about 520,000 children in foster care, according to the North American Council on Adoptable Children in St. Paul. Of those, 120,000 are available for adoption, but only 50,000 find permanent homes each year (USA Today).

The need for adoptive families in this country is great, and to bar an entire segment of the population from adopting for no reason is unconscionable. Find out if your state is planning to hurt our children by depriving them of parents, and study up on the facts from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse on the subject (fact sheet here). We have to defend our children from this religious zealots who want to deprive those in need of a good home the family they so richly deserve.

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Ohio lawmakers introduce gay adoption ban

C.E. Dorsett Like a dagger through my heart into the very marrow of my soul, I read the news this morning and the the blade appeared to my eye:

Emboldened by the passage of Ohio's broad anti-gay constitutional amendment in 2004, conservatives now seek to limit parenting rights for LGBT people in the state.

Ten members of the Ohio General Assembly this week introduced HB515, the so-called “Adoptive and Foster Children's Protection Act,” which would legally prevent foster-care and adoptive children from being placed in the home of a gay, bisexual or transgender person (Gay.com).

I don't really know what to say. Can we get a ban on Evangelicals from having children? Every person I have ever known who converted to this hate-filled and dangerous incarnation of Darbian Christianity has become a danger to themselves and others. The solipsism of Evangelical Christianity is stunning at times. There is no evidence the GLBT parents are any different from non-GLBT parents... except they are usually older, more financially well off, and are incapable of accidentally having a child.

We have to stop this irrational hate of GLBT people, and move forward.

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Hate Crime Follow Up: Mass Teen dead in Ark.

GASSVILLE, Ark. -- The teenager suspected of a hatchet-and-gun attack in a Massachusetts gay bar and in the killing of two people in Arkansas, including a policeman, died Sunday of wounds suffered in a gun battle with officers, authorities said (Gay.com).

I will not post the murderer's name. I think that gives him a hint of glory he doesn't deserve. He maybe dead, but the threat continues, not only from him, but from those who are seeking to misuse this horror for their own aims.

A teenager accused of going on a rampage at a gay bar with a hatchet and a gun sometimes glorified Nazism and had a swastika tattoo but never previously expressed any prejudice toward gays, friends say (Gay.com).

The play is to blame Insane Clown Posse, and to a lesser extent Nazism for this kids actions. Music does not cause this! I agree that we shouldn't support hate filled music, because hate is contagious no matter its form, but Insane Clown Posse is a shock rock band. I am not sure they advocate hate. Nazism will become an excuse to ignore the hate in the culture.

We need to look for answers to end hate, not a scapegoat to blame.

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Hate Crime: Teen shoots Mass. gay bar patrons

The effect of hate and bigotry on our society:

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- A teenager armed with a hatchet and handgun opened fire inside a gay bar early Thursday, wounding at least three people in what police are investigating as a hate crime (Gay.com).

When you live in a culture that supports racism and homophobia, people will die. Those Fundis and Nazis (not hyperbole, the boy considered himself a NAZI and posted to NAZI sites) that who preach hate need to be held accountable when their hate manifests in blood and pain.

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New Canadian PM whines about Equality

I am very confused by this story:

Canada's incoming prime minister, Stephen Harper, says he intends to call a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage “sooner, rather than later, but not immediately (Gay.com).”

At first I was worried that Canada had lost its soul to bigotry. Then, I read on...

If a new vote on marriage were to reverse the law, the stage would be set for a definitive ruling by the Canadian Supreme Court -- which is widely expected to uphold gay equality (Gay.com).

We get it Mr Harper, you're a tough guy who has to give up your bigotry. Grow up and stop wasting your governments time. ditto to US bigots.

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Equality challenged on Ballot

Something is wrong with this picture:

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a gay civil rights bill into law Tuesday that adds “sexual orientation” to a state law banning discrimination in housing, employment, insurance and credit. ... But if initiative promoter Tim Eyman gets his way, it will be frozen until November's general election.

Civil Rights move forward... unless enough bigots can overturn the law? The hate filled actions of these anti-equality folk hurt my mind sometimes. Imagine if the Clan would have tried this in the '60s. Oy!

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VA not for Lovers, RI Contemplates Equal Marriage

In a move reminiscent of most of the civil rights disasters in our country's history:

Virginia voters will decide this fall if an anti-gay marriage amendment should be tacked onto their commonwealth's constitution, now that lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved it (Gay.com).

Frankly, all this reminds me of the Anti-Miscegenation (Mixed Race Marriage) Movement. They also used the bible (Number 25) to justify their bigotry. Those laws also had majority support. Vermont was only state not to pass an Anti-Miscegenation Law. The Courts were used to over turn these laws (Pace v. Alabama, 1883, upheld these odious laws/ Loving v. Virginia, 1967, struck the laws down). Bigotry is easy to pass into law, but difficult to remove.

Virginia is not the only state to place an anti-gay marriage amendment on its upcoming state elections. South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and South Dakota citizens will vote on similar amendments in their elections (Gay.com).

When you are having trouble winning an election, make your constituents hate someone or something. Hate is a powerful tool to organize people.


A Ray of Hope

Rhode Island's Senate and House are both facing bills that seek to legalize same-sex marriage (Gay.com).

Maybe we could turn the corner and move forward.

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The US allies with Cameroon, Cuba, Iran, and Sudan?

Behold the power of hate:

A gay rights controversy has emerged at the United Nations, after the United States sided with countries including Iran and Zimbabwe on a vote about gay inclusion (Gay.com).

Here is the rogues gallery we have joined:

The countries that voted to dismiss the gay application were Cameroon, China, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, United States and Zimbabwe, according to ILGA (Gay.com).

Hate the GLBT community makes strange bed fellows, doesn't it?

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