Out of Many,
Co-Publisher, On the Gay
A local politician asked that question on the radio
yesterday. And it's a bloody good question.
Karen and I agreed that once the election was over, we'd move
on. But here I am, weeks later, still stewing.
Americans have beaten African-Americans with baseball bats
because Obama won. Americans have robbed gay Americans of
the legal protections of marriage. Americans have denied
orphans a home with gay couples. Who are these
people? Why are they acting like this?
I'd like to blame certain Republicans for their divisive
doctrines. But, no. Really, Bush/Cheney own
Tell me, how far removed is this discrimination from their
actions of the last eight years? Like invading a nation
of dark-skinned people as part of their oil-appropriation/Saudi
assistance plan by lying to the people and to Congress about
evidence and surveillance. And then ignoring the
long-term cost in lives, reputation, and dollars. How
about awarding wartime contracts to substandard vendors with
inside connections. Or spying on church groups and
political protesters as part of a "homeland security" program
so clearly illegal that the entire senior level of the Justice
Department threatened to resign. Or how about the time
when they summarily dismissed the U.S. attorneys who attempted
to investigate the 2004 election fraud. Or their holding
political prisoners for YEARS without so much as a
hearing. DOES ANYONE REMEMBER ANY OF THIS?? How
about overextending our finances at a rate I cannot
comprehend. You think Wall Street was
over-leveraged? Has anyone looked at our Federal
And how did they accomplish all this? By shredding the
parts of the Constitution that have gotten in their way ---
some inconvenient truths --- and replacing them with "signing
They have been, in a word: lawless. More
precisely: lawless bullies.
That lawlessness goes hand in hand with the freedom to hate and
discriminate. And it opened the door for the Wall Street
fiasco. When our leaders act with impunity, it sends a
very clear message. The Bush/Cheney
administration has bullied us for years. If they want it,
they take it. But don't challenge them.
Because, if you are not with them, clearly you are against
them. Right or wrong. Good or Evil. Ring a
Why can't it be both? Why are we not mature enough as a
species to see that life on this water planet is far more
complicated than black or white? Is it because holding
those two thoughts in our heads at the same time is
challenging? Are we that lazy? Come on. I
know plenty of folks who can spout conflicting stats about
their favorite athlete, weigh the data, and draw a
Take Barack. He's black AND white. But
African-Americans have claimed Obama as their own, ignoring his
white half. Whites quietly lay claim to Obama's white
half, trying to ignore his other half. They don't go so
far as to say they are proud of him. That's too
scary. After all, he's half black. But dammit, they
want credit for his whiteness. Despite the fact that his
white mother broke the law in 26 states when she married his
father...but his grandmother, he says, not his mama, made him
who he is. Is he of a lawless white? Or a
traditionalist? See? It's not so simple, is
it? Is he both?
And this ain't no melting pot, I'm talking about, either.
We've never melted anything. At best, we're dozens of
tribes rubbing shoulders, trying to share resources and
striving to tolerate one another. But we can't do that if
we act like our European or African or Asian ancestors,
suspicious of anyone from outside of our village --- us against
It's the 21st century. We live in a glorious land, muddy
with genetic ancestry and customs, guided by a simple
doctrine: live and let live. Let me repeat
that. It's live AND let live. We stamp "E pluribus
unum" right on our coins: Out of many, one. A union
--- of separate states. States of mind, states of grace,
financial states, geographic states, religious states.
Get the idea? We are red AND blue. Gay AND
straight. Christian, Muslim, Jewish AND atheist.
And everything in between.
Bingo. That's what we represent. That's what people
come here for. We are the opportunity to fit somewhere
--- in between --- yet live with everyone else. Find a
tribe --- or start your own --- and squeeze in.
How do we get back to a nation of inclusion when we've spent
the last eight years dividing to conquer and siphoning off
every possible drop of profit and hope? How do we come
together when bullies have been telling us who we can have sex
with, who we can vote for, who we'll buy our oil from or which
fuels will be cheapest, who we'll sacrifice our children
How do we get there? By speaking loudly for our
union. Silence the bullies. Aim our efforts toward
the country we should be. Like
the tens of thousands of supporters of equal marriage rights
who marched in rallies around the country Saturday. "It's
not 'Yes, we can,' "said San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano,
in reference to President-elect Barack Obama's campaign slogan.
"It's 'Yes, we will.'"
Out of many, one.
Can Obama take us to this promised land? I hope so.
I want America back.
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Tell us what
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Bail and Spend
the Gay Horizon
Several issues back, we talked about the
$700 billion bailout and how we had a few doubts about it.
Despite our misgivings, it was passed. Now, we seem to have
moved into the phase of figuring out what to do with it. Should
we save the producers of gas-guzzling, pollution-emitting
vehicles? Bail out the financial institutions that appear to
have greedily and recklessly pushed our economy to the brink of
what many are calling the next Great Depression? Rescue
individual homeowners who didn't have the good sense to know
that when something sounds too easy, too good to be true, it
almost always is?
It's not that we don't feel for the
auto industry employees. Or, that we aren't concerned about the
state of the economy. And, who wouldn't want a bigger, nicer
home than you thought you could afford? But doesn't it strike
you as just a bit curious that government practically came to a
standstill because we had to immediately borrow
$700 billion dollars and
now we don't seem to know what to do
And another thing.....for as long as I can
remember, we have been advised by every financial counselor on
the planet to reduce our personal debt. Get out from under the
credit card debt. Live within our means. Save instead of spend.
So, now we are. Our elected/selected/appointed government
officials may not know what to do with that $700 billion in the
face of this economic crisis, but we've all figured out what we
need to do with the little stack that's within our control.
Are we being commended for taking a step
toward financial responsibility? Not hardly! Instead, we are
now constantly bombarded with the message that
we are undermining the economy
because we aren't spending enough!
I don't claim to know how to fix this mess.
I do know that when we were spending away, gas was costing
me almost $4 a gallon. Now, we aren't spending, and I just paid
$1.70. I'm thinking that if we bail out Detroit and they keep
producing the same kinds of vehicles that get 12 to 15 miles
per gallon, gas will probably hit $5 next
But I won't be holding my breath for anyone
to ask my opinion about that or any of it.
What I will be doing, though, is the same
thing I've been advocating since we started publishing this
newsletter. Whether it's in the arena of GLBT rights or
anything else that concerns our happiness or well-being, I
strongly believe the answer is to find ways of taking care
of ourselves. We may not know how to save the world but there
are lots of things that we can do in our individual
Since we've been talking about automobiles,
and they always take a major bite out of most budgets, I
came across a resource recently that I will share. Whether
you're buying a new or used car, trying to keep the one you
have running longer or just want to save money on gas,
Cheap Car Tips and Tricks will show you lots of ways to save
Just don't tell the government I sent you