Bil Browning

Fourth of July Open Thread

Filed By Bil Browning | July 04, 2011 8:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Fourth of July, July 4th, open thread

We're taking the holiday off here at Bilerico, but don't worry! We've left you an open thread to start your own conversations. This thread will not be moderated, so you're welcome to say what you'd like.

Here's a topic to get you started. Take it where you will:

Will you be setting off your own fireworks today or will you go watch a big display? Got plans for a cookout or party?

Aiko's Independence Day kitchen

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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | July 4, 2011 9:22 AM

I've resolved this Fourth of July to finally figure out the right words to "Yankee Doodle". Does anybody know if "I'm a Dandy, yank my Doodle" has been altered from the original?

As a transwoman, at her desk on the morning of INDEPENDENCE DAY, I'd like to point out that way too many observations and efforts are put into the GLB part of the equation and not enough to the T part of it.

I am often amused that the greater queer community added that *T* for the sake of inclusion (appearances?) but very often neglects that part of the 'community' when referring to such compelling issues as bullying and discrimination. I think that if you only want to pay lip service to the trans community then you do all of us a disservice. What you (the leaders of the GLBT communities) need to do is to either step up and stand behind your (often empty) words, or cut us loose and stop using us as the poster children for your benevolence.

Personally, I think that transfolk get the short shrift, and are seriously under-estimated and undervalued by the greater queer community. The perfect example would be HRC, the money machine that claims to be for everyone; as long as it looks like they can win the fight. But if they hit rocky waters, all of a sudden it's all about lightening the load and removing the improbabilities.

So if you are a queer person and are looking to help level the field, there are many of us in the trans communities across the country/planet who wouold gladly stand side by side with you, if you didn't treat us like bastard step-children when we otherwise didn't suit your needs.

As for myself........I am a free woman beholden to no one except those who have walked my path with me.

Dalmax, while I will never experience your struggle of injustice as a transgender person, I do not disagree that the larger LGB-community is lacking an understanding of inclusiveness, and are absent of the passion and courage to embrace true diversity under the LGBT(QIA-Double spirit) umbrella.

Our movement like every other has shameful and inexcusable events. I began to engage in advocacy focused on transgender issues after the few opportunities I had to learn of the HIV-health disparities among transgender people. It was a wonderful time to learn, build friendships and hear first hand about the greater invisible struggle so we could not only join in the fight, but join to win turning point battles. The war for equality seems to be a war that will never end.

I would enjoy reading a blog on the evolution of a local LGBT-community to recognize they needed to embrace, understand and be willing to expand the fight.

I would enjoy reading a blog on how a local community evolved to embrace and understand one another. What was the dialogue and what were some of the most inspiring moments?

I frighten the messaging has become so negative that I think its time we need to take it back home and share the beauty from within our own community.

I suppose I am boring. I had a chance to go party last night, watch fireworks and all but I declined.

In reply to other comment left by dalmax, being Trans also, so far have found a fairly supportive Gay and Lesbian Community where I live. Of course it is a pretty conservative area so perhaps it is just a matter of survival...

Om Kalthoum | July 4, 2011 12:06 PM

Next Hurdle for Equality in the Military?

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Military officials are charging three California-based Marine corporals with fraud and larceny for entering in a pair of sham marriages to collect housing funding, officials said.

The military alleges that a lesbian couple - one a Marine, the other a civilian - decided to live together off base and wanted to collect the $1,200 housing benefit granted to married Marines.

The female Marine found a male Marine willing to get married, allowing them to collect the housing benefit, and the civilian woman also eventually married a Marine and collected funds, 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley, a spokeswoman at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, said Saturday.

The female Marine, Cpl. Ashley Vice, told San Diego's KGTV-TV that she and her partner, Jaime Murphy, were forced to enter sham marriages because the military doesn't provide allowances for unmarried couples and they couldn't afford to live off base without the extra money. She and her partner only wanted to "be a family," Vice said.

More at:

I don't know much about LGB culture in the military, but in years past had heard that marriages of convenience were certainly not unknown between gay and lesbian service members. I thought it was more for beard purposes, though. But $1200/month? That's some serious benefit.

I'm not sure this is any more of a sham marriage than many I've known. Plenty of people marry for money. Are their marriages going to put them in jail?

Om Kalthoum | July 4, 2011 2:07 PM

Ain't it the truth? But I suppose the military could say something on the order of: Uncle Sam owns your ass, and per the UCMJ, offenses that are tolerated in regular society (like adultery) are grounds for dismissal with us. So they don't even need the larceny (or whatever they're calling it) angle with these marines. They could say the women are cheating on their husbands!

I'm sorry for the four people involved, but I think this could be good publicity which points up the discrimination and lack of equality which LGB troops still face.

Hope you all are enjoying your Independence Day please be careful not to choke on a wiener :).

I have to put out this re-tweet by PBS's Gwen Ifill about 6 PM today:

lizzieohreally Lizzie O'Leary [re-tweeted] by pbsgwen
Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem. You're welcome.

And my tweet in response:

@ajlopp Allen J. Lopp
I recall hearing Marvin sing on 02/13/83 in my little apt
in Fullerton CA -- am as blown away today as I was then.
RIP, Marvin -- we miss u.

In addition to having a voice and musical style that nailed it,
he probably never looked sharper in his life.

Johnny K. | July 4, 2011 8:30 PM

A legal question (issue) that has occurred to me ...

As I understand it Wyoming and Texas (and others?) have put through "foreign" same sex divorces, though marriages are verboten. Might having done so come back to bite them later, if they want to hide behind a "public policy" exception to Full Faith and Credit?

I am responding to the Fourth of July Open Thread. Fireworks? Military displays? Fly-overs by F-16s? Sorry, no. My fireworks are by way of opening a dialog. Many of us in this country do not have equal rights. Many are victims of hate crimes or driven to suicide by being excluded from the great "melting Pot" Several groups have that dubious distinction, but I refer especially to one that even the support groups have added as an afterthought; "T" Transgender. I think we scare or embassass some people and they wish we would go away. Well, guess what, we're here to stay! This is our America too! One other thought. Instead of spending Billions daily to bomb several other countries into accepting our worldview, we should take care of our own. Healthcare, employment, worker's rights, oh yes, and equal rights for all. Enough fireworks for you!?