Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Primary Day

Starting to feel a little like this.
Primary season finally made it to Florida and the race is looking...gross. Let's face it, this presidential season is a little like House of Cards if it was written and directed by NASCAR. I'm always excited to vote in a primary since, being from California, that was the only time my presidential race vote went anywhere. Florida is a swing state, though, so I've had some meaningful votes since moving here. Kinda, anyway. Today was a biggie, and before you get excited, I won't tell you how I voted today. I'm pretty sure it's like birthday wishes--won't come true if you tell. I will walk you through my thoughts, however, because it wasn't an easy decision.

For Republicans you can pick a sociopath or an idiot...usually their candidates are both

I'm a Millennial, so I should be all for Bernie, right? But I'm one of the least Millennial Millennials I know. I don't like taking pictures of everything I see, eat, or drive past, which is a shame, because I drive past some really crazy stuff living in central Florida. I also like breakfast cereal, which my generation apparently might be the death of. I'm also a die hard feminist, which would make me a Hillary supporter. Not so fast or simple (this isn't NASCAR).

Florida is a closed primary system, which means, as a lifelong Democrat, I can only vote for blue candidates. That's actually really helpful since the other side seems to have a really bad game of "death isn't an option" going on with their shit-show candidates. Let's talk about the real issue: who is going to be the next president? Let's face it, the Democratic primary really is the presidential race this cycle.

Bernie Sanders - Back when I graduated high school I actually thought about going to a Vermont college so he could be my senator. No joke. I even applied to Goddard and got in. Then I realized I hated cold weather, didn't care enough about ice cream to be a true Vermonter, and could go to crazy good schools in California without graduating with crippling debt. Bernie reminds me of the grandfather I wish I had (I never really knew mine--thanks a lot cancer and heart disease). He's pro education, pro universal health care, pro union, anti income gap, and pro guns....shit. I forgot about that last one. He's kinda sorta pivoted on that, because you can't really win a Democratic primary anymore with the "from my cold dead hands" group's endorsement. I adore his idealism and most of his ideals match up almost perfectly with my own. He's also a steady, measured voice of anger talking about things Americans should actually be angry about (sorry, Trump supporters, you're mad at all the wrong things). He's refusing to participate in the dark money, super pac bullshit that even Obama couldn't avoid. His stance on the importance of climate change is clear, vocal, and right on point. My congressman, Grayson, a brash firebrand that I proudly voted for, is throwing his super delegate vote Bernie's way, so he's in good company. I have a sneaking suspicion he'd pick Elizabeth Warren as his running mate and I have a huuuuuuge crush on her both political and otherwise. He'd also be the first openly non-Christian president (even though I think more than a few were secretly atheists/agnostic). He's 99% of the way there, but he's still another old white guy in government, even if he's on the atheist side of Jewish and progressive as hell. Any other cycle, he'd have my vote the second the polls opened, but his opponent is...

Hillary Clinton - A bad bitch icon for all bad bitches. If you've read any of my books you've probably noticed I have a deep, abiding respect for tough, power-hungry women with flaws. I'll let you in on a little secret, mostly that's come from growing up in the Post-Bill era of Clinton. I think Veronica is about 25% Hillary in the Gunfighter series: a southern girl who grew up sick of the status quo and set out to change things come hell or high water. Let's be clear here, I don't give a single, solitary fuck about Bill Clinton, where his penis has been, or what kind of president he was. I also don't give a single, solitary fuck about internal martial dynamics of other people. My marriage is none of Bill's business so I'll extend him the same courtesy. With that out of the way...HOW FUCKING CRAZY AMAZING WOULD IT BE TO HAVE THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT! We're so far behind the rest of the world on this one. Wanna know when Israel broke the glass ceiling for its highest office? 1969. Golda Meier died more than a decade before I was born because she was the 4th prime minister of Israel. We're picking our 45th president right now. James Madison was our 4th president for a reference on how far behind America is on the Israel standard. She's pro reproductive rights, pro telling Republicans to fuck the fuck off, strong on defense, pro racial equality, and pro evolving. Pro evolution, sure, but also pro evolving. Intransigence on positions is for some insane reason viewed as a good thing in American politics. Bush 43 was famous for refusing to change his mind no matter what new information came to light (he said this repeatedly in a bunch of ways). How fucking stupid is that? Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick the football and Lucy keeps pulling it away at the last minute...who is the idiot in that situation? Hillary learns, moves, changes, and evolves as things change. That's a good thing. Past positions are nice, but future plans based on current information are more important. Of the two options, she's the one that evolves and that's important.

Let's be clear. Regardless of who I voted for today, the other will get my vote in November if they win. The stakes are too high to stay home because my first choice wasn't the winner. It's one of the two Democrats at the top, a thousand miles of shit, and then any Republican...then a thousand more miles of shit before you get to Ted Cruz. I voted today in the primary and I encourage you to do the same if you haven't already. I'm voting for Bernie or Hillary come November regardless of who I voted for in the primary because that's what both of them promised to do no matter how this race shakes out. This election is too important to skip.

Sorry NASCAR fans for the two jokes. Gotta love a race that only turns left.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Bathrooms...are you fucking kidding me, South Dakota?

Sooooo I'm not used to having things work this well or this fast in the realm of LGBTQ+ rights. After writing this 11th hour plea to motivate a final push of public outcry for Governor Daugaard to veto the bill, he did. Read the impassioned post if you'd like. There's a couple sexy pictures of Buck Angel and Bailey Jay, a metaphor about house spiders I'm pretty proud of, and the usual number of jokes. Or just read it to enjoy a battle we won!

Bathrooms...are you fucking kidding me, South Dakota?

And really high waisted shorts apparently
 I don't think much of South Dakota, which is a change for me since I used to not think much about South Dakota. But then they decided to do something really stupid, regressive, and bigoted. Before we get into that, I need to kick myself in text form because I got all excited last July (newly wed buzzed maybe?) and declared the next big fight for LGBTQ+ was going to be adoption laws! Yay! We'd moved on from...wait, what? Bathrooms? We're going to have to have a big fucking fight over bathrooms now? Oh, come on, America.

Add "get arrested" to either side in South Dakota
 South Dakota, under the despicable "we're using our children as weapons" heading of dickhead things to do, decided they were going to pass a law forcing trans children to use the bathroom of their birth gender regardless of how much transition they may have done or how negatively doing so might impact them. And then, get this, they blamed Obama. I'm not kidding. The arguments for why they had to pass this disgusting law included blaming Obama for changing the Title IX requirements to be more trans friendly. So, since Obama did something nice for trans kids, it was up to the fuckwit Republicans in the South Dakota legislature to pass a state law to make sure trans kids never felt safe in bathrooms again...thanks, Obama.

Welcome to the ladies room, Buck.
 It's no secret, I had a pretty shitty high school experience being a weird, Buddhist lesbian girl in a conservative school in a conservative town in a super evangelical Christian county. But, as much as it sucked and it did suck, nobody ever passed laws about where I could pee to make things even more difficult just for me. And certainly nobody in the state legislature vilified me (that I know of) as being far more dangerous than I actually am, which is to say not very. That's what South Dakota is doing to trans kids, though. Passing laws to make sure they don't....do...um...trans stuff in the wrong bathroom? That's where their "argument" really falls apart--even the people who made up the regressive, bullshit law can't really explain what might happen if a transgendered person goes into a different bathroom than the toilet assigned at birth. This is because trans people are like house spiders. Let me explain....

I have a feeling the real plan was to get Bailey Jay into the men's room.
 No matter how you feel, no matter how deep your phobias go, you are always going to be more dangerous to house spiders than they are to you. This is coming from a deeply arachnophobic lady. The worst thing that happens to you if you see a house spider is that it might touch you*. The worst thing that might happen to the spider if you see it? It gets killed. That's the reality for transgendered people. They are far more afraid of you than you are of them because, just like with house spiders, one side has all the power and the other side gets stepped on, but you'd never know which is which based on how people (talking to you here South Dakota) behave. The similarities go on and on. The violence tends to be extremely lopsided about who actually hurts who. You're around far more of them than you're ever going to be aware of (see the two examples above if you think you can spot trans people). They're doing helpful stuff for you that you don't even know about. They tend to mind their own business better than just about anyone else, probably because people pass despicable laws about their business whenever someone hears about it. Um...they both like hats? Okay, that one might be a stretch, but you get the point--a lot of irrational fear over a group that is in far more danger than it is dangerous.

*This probably isn't true in Australia--I've seen scary videos of their house spiders

It's wearing a water drop hat and looking at butterflies! Ruuuuuuuun!!!
 This is one of the things that bugs me most about South Dakota and their fear-mongering law. A version of it happened in California during the Prop 8 battle too. Using kids as a weapon as if transgendered kids, lesbian kids, and gay kids don't exist or their lives don't matter. So, ostensibly, this law will protect cis gender kids from having to pee next to transgendered kids because...it'll somehow harm them to pee next to a trans person? During the Prop 8 thing, there was actually several commercials saying "You don't want to have to explain to your kids why two princesses can get married, do you?" What about the little girl who wants to marry a princess? Fuck her, right? Her feelings don't matter as much as those shitty parents who would have to have a five second conversation with their kids about the existence of homosexuals! Can you imagine the horrific damage a girl might undergo if she had to sit, and pee, in a stall, next to another little girl, who changed her name!? The horror!

The South Dakota dipshits...I mean, lawmakers, argue that it's a sex crimes thing, right? Someone is going to pretend to be transgendered to go into a bathroom and molest people. Okay, if the laws against molesting strangers don't stop someone, a ban on them using the other bathroom will? Also, if South Dakota was actually interested in fighting sex crimes, why are they among the worst offenders when it comes to allowing sex offenders to use reservations to cover their crimes? Imaginary sex crimes perpetrated by people pretending to be trans, they need laws for that. But actual sex crimes against indigenous people....meh, let the feds handle that. Also, in the fucked up, completely insane scenario they used to justify their bigoted law, they're punishing transgendered kids for hypothetical behavior carried out by cis-kids. "A cis boy might pretend to be trans to carry out sex crimes, so we made a law endangering trans girls!" Also, PE class and showering at school fears? What the fuck decade do these lawmakers think it is? May as well pass laws for zeppelin crash safety courses and do some duck and cover drills just to be sure.

On a statewide level in South Dakota

There's not many Ts in the LGBTQ+ nation, mostly because they're a naturally small part of the population as a whole, but also because it is extremely difficult, extremely dangerous, and they have a frighteningly high rate of suicide attempts (somewhere around 41%). But when you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us, and our kids are precious to us. We've all had a hard road growing up because some frightened bigot decided our childhood needed to be harder for their comfort and insecurities and we don't want future LGBTQ+ kids to have to endure the same. Flood Governor Daugaard's office with calls, messages, emails, and tweets demanding he veto the bill (if you're reading this on leap day). If tomorrow he signs the bill, we can still flood the legislature with demands for the law to be repealed and petition the ACLU to take up the cause.